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

Just Posted

Greater Victoria thrift shop quietly closes two locations indefinitely

Society of St. Vincent de Paul shut down Sooke and Central Saanich storefronts

New report finds ‘chronic’ shortage of daycare spaces across Greater Victoria

Sidney meets 52 per cent of demand, the best figure for six surveyed communities

Four-storey Oak Bay Avenue development to have rooftop garden

Redfern 35-unit development sent to public hearing

Sooke councillor pitches another way to improve transit

Coun. Jeff Bateman wants free passes for youth on local routes

Heavy rains cause wastewater overflow off Oak Bay, Saanich beaches

Affected beaches will be posted with public health advisory signs

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

Most Read