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

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

Just Posted

THC boardmember Melody McLorie and municipal councillor Coun. Duncan McMaster celebrated the start of construction on a 14-unit affordable housing development at 700 Sharp Road in February, 2021. (Westerly file photo)
Tofino Housing Corporation asks for portion of town’s MRDT funds

Tofino’s hotels and resorts collect a 3 per cent Municipal and Regional District Tax from visitors

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island COVID-19 local case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

Black Press Media file photo
Tofino sets municipal tax rates

Tofino’s residential property values are rising while businesses are declining.

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Island’s daily COVID-19 case count drops below 10 for just the second time in 2021

Province reports 8 new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island Wednesday

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu on May 8. (Black Press Media file photo)
Indigenous woman shot by police was holding a replica gun, says Ucluelet First Nation

Woman has been identified as a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Most Read