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

Proposed garden at Maffeo Sutton Park goes $186,000 over budget

City of Nanaimo’s finance and audit committee recommends funding the shortfall

Five vehicles crash on old Island Highway, one rolls over

No one injured in collision Wednesday near Norwell Drive and Jingle Pot Road

Nanaimo bluesman David Gogo launching podcast

Gogo performs acoustic concert at Lantzville’s Costin Hall on Leap Day, Feb. 29

Nanaimo District Secondary School presenting ‘Mamma Mia!’ at the Port Theatre

Musical is built around songs by Swedish ’70s pop group ABBA

Port promoting tourism excursions for cruise ship passengers in Nanaimo

Port authority develops partnerships in advance of six ships arriving in 2020

Five vehicles crash on old Island Highway, one rolls over

No one injured in collision Wednesday near Norwell Drive and Jingle Pot Road

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

Original Victoria Clipper vessel sails one last time

Vessel sold to buyers in Gabon, Central Africa

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

Two new hybrid BC Ferries ships christened with new names in Victoria ceremony

Island Aurora and Island Discovery will service Gulf Island and North Island routes

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

Most Read