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Howard Dawson of Red Lobster joins GSA board of directors, effective immediately, Global Seafood Assurances has announced.

Dawson, executive VP and general counsel of Red Lobster Seafood Co. is responsible for legal affairs as well as international operations, communications, government and community relations, and sustainability for the world’s largest casual-dining seafood chain, which has more than 700 restaurants in the United States and Canada. Dawson came to Red Lobster from Hard Rock Cafe International, where he was the company’s first in-house attorney. Previously, he worked for Telemundo Network. He is a graduate of Harvard University, where he received his undergraduate, law and masters of business administration degrees.

“I am very much looking forward to working with everyone on the GSA board to help seafood-relates industries in providing assurances of a sustainable and responsibly sources seafood supply,” said Dawson.

Launched in April 2018, GSA set out to build a single platform for comprehensive, full supply chain seafood assurance — farmed and wild — with compatible, block chain-style traceability. All standards in the GSA portfolio will be of the highest quality and governance, meeting internationally recognized benchmarking systems. The standards may be owned by GSA, managed by GSA or working in partnership with GSA.

Currently, GSA is focusing on filling the gaps in assurance. Version 2 of the Seafish Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS) standards, which are designed to address labor conditions aboard fishing vessels, are in development, and GSA will take over the standards from Seafish in May 2020. Also in the works are the Seafood Processing Standards for both wild and farmed seafood, which are currently being piloted and will soon be put to market.

“Horace Dawson’s involvement with global seafood restaurant operations brings an exceptional level of expertise to the GSA board,” said GSA Executive Director Wally Stevens. “He, along with the recently announced board members Ally Dingwall of Sainsbury’s and Marcus Coleman of Seafish, provide for excellent representation of both the marketplace and fisheries stakeholders.”

About GSA

Global Seafood Assurance is a non-profit organisation that has been created by, and with seed funding from, the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA). It aims to provide end-to-end quality assurance for all seafood, farmed or wild, by creating standards where gaps exist, working with other standard holders where possible, and collaborating to build robust traceability for all. It benefits from 20 years of experience of the GAA and Best Aquaculture Practice standards, together with more than 40 staff and state-of-the-art supply chain assurance technology.

Red Lobster is the world’s largest seafood restaurant company, headquartered in Orlando, Florida.

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