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Bluewave casts for a new leader as war clouds loom

BLUEWAVE Seafood is on the hunt for a new chief executive officer following the departure of Glen Bosman after six years at the lobster processor’s helm.

Mr Bosman’s tenure effectively ended on Monday and follows a tumultuous few years for the former Fremantle Fishermen’s Cooperative that successfully became a corporation last year.

The change at the top of Bluewave comes at a tough time in the processing side of an industry that many observers suggest is ripe for consolidation, particularly with the WA catch likely to be more than 20 per cent below last season’s 11,270 tonnes.

Speculation is rife that Geraldton Fishermen’s Cooperative is set to retaliate to Bluewave’s poaching of as many as 30 boats in the northern zone by establishing its own base at Rous Head in Fremantle.

The corporatisation of Bluewave itself was part of a strategy to strengthen the seafood company ahead of mounting competition.

However, a fund raising move launched in December to generate up to $5 million remains open with the company playing down expectations of seeing investors’ money until later this year when its shareholder base of fishermen has got past the current season.

Mr Bosman said his departure was amicable and not connected with any particular event at the company.

“After being there for six years, it was time,” he said.

He refused to comment on wide ranging speculation about his future, claiming he was taking two months off and had yet to decide whether he would remain in the lobster business.

Bluewave acting CEO Rob Rose said Mr Bosman’s departure was simply part of the usual corporate change that takes place at the top of modern organisations.

“Our position with Glenn is he has made an enormous contribution while he was here,” Mr Rose said.

“The corporatisation of the cooperative is a huge achievement.”

He said the company had gained an extension in time from the WA Government for an assistance package for the proposed new processing facility at Robb Jetty.

Mr Rose would not discuss whether a new deadline had been set by the State but he said every-thing was ready to go in terms of building approvals and construction plans.

“We have a number of options to finance that on the table,” he said.

“It is up to the board to make that decision.

“They have decided to defer that decision, that is prudent financial management.”

Mr Rose said Bluewave had enjoyed considerable success in its bid to return to the northern zone, servicing fishermen out of Geraldton, the heartland of WA’s biggest seafood processor, the Geraldton Fishermen’s Cooperative.

He would not reveal how many boats Bluewave had won over in the north, except to say it was multiple of the number lost to competitors.

The additional volumes had helped Bluewave during the recent season, one of the lowest for some time after a wave of big years.

Last financial year, Bluewave made a net profit of $403,758 on turnover of $62.8 million, reflecting a business whose suppliers are largely its owners.

At June 30, members’ equity stood at $6 million.

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