Marine Harvest rebrands as Mowi on Jan. 1, 2019.

Marine Harvest to rebrand as Mowi – but relatives of the company’s namesake are unhappy about the move

Name change comes ahead of Mowi-branded product launch

The salmon farming giant Marine Harvest is rebranding as Mowi, a name that pays homage to Thor Mowinckel, one of the company’s founders.

But relatives of the company’s namesake objected to the name change on Tuesday, raising criticisms of open-net pen aquaculture.

The new moniker comes into effect as of Jan. 1, 2019, according to Jeremy Dunn, the director of public affairs for the company’s Canadian subsidiary.

Shareholders approved the switch at a special assembly that took place on Tuesday in Bergen, Norway, where the multinational seafood company is based.

The rebranding effort applies to all worldwide business units of the Marine Harvest Group, which describes itself as the “world’s largest producer of farmed salmon, both by volume and revenue.”

It comes as the company prepares to launch a new line of Mowi-branded products. A statement from the company in November said the Mowi brand will “communicate our integrated value-chain from feed to the consumer’s plate.”

READ MORE: Feds say $105-million fish fund will support wild salmon, innovation in B.C. fisheries

READ MORE: Tofino, Ucluelet, Swiftsure facing likely fishing closures in 2019

The Marine Harvest brand has been present in B.C. for more than a decade, Dunn said. In 2006, the company was taken over by Pan Fish, and it rebranded as Marine Harvest the following year.

The new brand is based on the surname of Thor Mowinckel, one of the founders of the company.

“Thor Mowinckel was a pioneer in salmon smolt production in the late 60s and was a founder of Mowi,” said Dunn. “The name was so significant that we also named the high-quality salmon breed our business was built on after it, the distinctive Mowi breed of salmon.”

Mowinckel served as the company’s CEO after entrepreneur and product developer Johan Lærum experimented with fish farming in Norway in the 1960s, according to the company’s 2017 annual report.

The name change was met with controversy on Tuesday, as a relative of Thor Mowinckel raised objections about the industry.

Frederik W. Mowinckel said on Twitter that members of the Mowinckel family were at the company’s assembly – called an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) – to protest the name change.

“Members of the Mowinckel family have at the EGM today voted against Marine Harvest’s plans to change its name to MOWI,” he said. “We do not wish be associated with what we consider an unsustainable way of farming salmon.”

He also called for a transition to closed containment salmon farming, saying that “[c]ompletely closed farms is the only way forward.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

City of Port Alberni receives $2M from community forest

AVCF hands over largest dividend cheque ever after successful year in 2019

Indigenous man behind complaint of BC Transplant’s alcohol abstinence policy has died

David Dennis, who is Nuu-chah-nulth, argued that six-month sobriety policy is a ‘lethal form of racism’

UPDATE: More details released on search for missing Vancouver Island hiker

Searchers scouring Strathcona Park near Gold River for experienced 65-year-old on 40-kilometre trek

ARTS AROUND: Alberni Valley artists come together at Rollin Art Centre

New exhibit features First Nations paintings and carvings

West Coast Hockey Prep Camp returns to Port Alberni, a little smaller

Prep camp owners rolling with COVID-19 changes, including smaller classes

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

UPDATE: Vancouver Island skydiving community mourns loss of one of its own

James Smith, 34, of Victoria, dies in Nanoose Bay incident

Elizabeth May endorses Furstenau in BC Greens race

Former federal party leader backs Cowichan Valley MLA

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

Most Read