Tor-Eddie Fossbakk, B.Sc., MPA
Senior Consultant, Founding Partner
Tor-Eddie’s interest in aquaculture was born when he was hired by the Canadian Embassy in Oslo, Norway, to look after the fisheries and aquaculture portfolio in their commercial division.
Born and raised in Harstad, Norway, about 300 km north of the Arctic Circle, Tor-Eddie was surrounded by fishing and related activities as he grew up. Known for its seafood harvesting and processing economy, this region has always been recognized as “fish country” and is now one of Norway’s primary fish farming areas.
Upon completing his primary and secondary education in Harstad, university studies took him to Oslo and then to Bergen where he obtained a B.Sc. (PolSci), Major in Comparative Politics and Public Administration, in 1982. From Bergen he travelled to the United States, to Central Michigan University (CMU), from which he graduated with a Master in Public Administration (MPA) in 1983, and where he also met his wife, Kristi. He continued to take courses toward a MBA up until 1987 when he and his wife returned to Norway, settling in Oslo.
Tor-Eddie’s aquaculture career started when he was hired as a Commercial Officer at the Canadian Embassy in Oslo in 1990. Part of his responsibilities included commercial fisheries and aquaculture relations between Canada and Norway, which required that he organize and coordinate a number of study tours to Norway for Canadian aquaculture industry representatives. To enable him to do a better job, Tor-Eddie developed strong relationships with all the major aquaculture research institutions in Norway, as well as with the associated government organizations at all levels. He developed extensive contacts with commercial companies in the seafood value chain both in Norway and Canada and was fortunate to travel extensively and thereby gain considerable knowledge of the Canadian aquaculture industry in the dominant producer provinces (British Columbia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland & Labrador).
In his unique position, and perceiving the potential growth opportunities for aquaculture in Canada, Tor-Eddie initiated the Embassy’s participation and booth at Aqua Nor (1991, 93, 95 & 97). To this day the Canadian Embassy is a strong participant at Aqua Nor, the legacy of his efforts to raise the Canadian presence at this important international aquaculture event.
For all his hard work he received a Merit Award from the Canadian Association of Fish Exporters for enhancing the Canadian fish and seafood industry’s relationship with Norway.
Seeking new challenges, Tor-Eddie resigned from his position at the Canadian Embassy in 1997 to pursue his interest in aquaculture and was hired as editor of Kontali’s Monthly Salmon Report, the world’s only comprehensive monthly market report for both farmed and wild salmon, including hatchery production, medication use, feed use, biomass, harvest, processing and sales. He worked there for two years and then made a major life change.
Tor-Eddie and his wife decided to move back to the United States in 1999. Fortunately he was able to quickly find employment as the aquaculture editor of the online magazine Fish Information and Services (FIS.com) in early 2000. In addition to his writing and editing duties he was able to travel extensively, covering various aquaculture events, such as AquaPartners 2000 in Athens, Greece, Aqua Nor 2001 in Trondheim, Norway, Aquaculture Pacific Exchange in Campbell River, BC, Canada in 2001, and Atlantic AquaFair in St. Andrews, NB, Canada in 2002, to name a few.
In 2003, FIS.com consolidated their operations and decided that a US-based aquaculture editor was no longer required. Without missing a beat, Tor-Eddie and Dave Conley decided to found the Aquaculture Communications Group (ACG) to pursue both of their interests in developing the global aquaculture industry by providing a suite of electronic information services. Unfortunately, Dave was unable to actively participate in the operation of the company because of other commitments, but he did provide ideas.
Tor-Eddie organized the very successful Canadian Mission to Aqua Nor 2003, which saw over 50 participants from Atlantic Canada travel to Trondheim for the international aquaculture trade show, followed by visits to Bergen and Stavanger for tours of research, production and processing facilities owned by Fiskeriforskning/Bergen (now Nofima), SINTEF Marine, Alsaker Fjordbruk, Austevoll Research Station, Rubin, AKVAFORSK, Aqua Gen AS, Marine Harvest (including Centre for Aquaculture Competence-CAC and Cod Culture Norway), and Skretting. He also organized a tour of facilities for participants at AquaVision 2004 in Stavanger that involved a visit to The Culinary Institute of Norway, Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre (ARC), Skretting ARC fish trials station at Lerang, and Marine Harvest’s Ryfisk processing plant at Hjelmeland.
Seeking to expand business opportunities for Canadian aquaculture supply and services firms, he planned a mission to Chile and Peru in 2004, in collaboration with Great Global Minds of Montreal, Canada, to meet with potential clients and collaborators, as well as government representatives involved in aquaculture development in these South American countries. Unfortunately, Canadian interest and participation was not strong enough to undertake this mission.
Tor-Eddie brings almost 30 years of experience in project management, mission planning & coordination, economic analysis, and communications & information technology to serve your aquaculture information needs, whatever they may be. Please feel free to contact him to discuss your project and how ACG can help you to achieve your goals.
See Dave's profile