Following 22 years in the role – an instrumental aspect of which has been nurturing and mentoring the marine farm team – Rea plans to take his passion for personal development and coaching to the next level by establishing his own private practice.

The career move comes on the back of John having achieved an accredited qualification in the specialism.

Scottish Sea Farms’ Managing Director Jim Gallagher said: “On a professional level, I’m hugely sorry to see John go. We both joined what was then Hydro Seafood within months of each another and soon found ourselves overseeing the company’s sale. In the years since, we’ve grown Scottish Sea Farms into one of the country’s leading growers of premium salmon, making it our shared mission to farm as responsibly and sustainably as possible.

“On a personal level, as both a long-standing colleague and good friend, I wish John every success with his new career. His ability to motivate and inspire all who work with him is renowned throughout the company, so this new career move feels like the natural next step, enabling John to share his skills with a wider audience.”

I’m hugely sorry to see John go

Hailing originally from Northern Ireland, John moved to Scotland in 1997, leaving Hydro Seafood Fanad in County Donegal to take up the role of Biologist with Hydro Seafood GSP.

In 2001, Hydro Seafood sold its Scottish farms to Norskott Havbruk – which operates as Scottish Sea Farms – with Rea being appointed Production Director in 2002.

John will remain in the role and continue to be responsible for all marine farming activities until his successor is appointed.

Added Gallagher: “Our aim is to set the benchmark for sustainable salmon farming and we’re looking for a forward thinking, sector experienced, commercially aware candidate who can build on the gains already being made in the key areas of fish welfare, environmental protection and product quality, and help accelerate our progress.

“John leaves big shoes to fill, however for the right candidate with the right combination of experience and drive this promises to be a truly career-defining opportunity.”