John Rutherford, the outspoken CEO of Seafish, is to retire by the end of June next year.

"I have had the privilege of serving the seafood industry in what must rank as one of the industry's best jobs for the past eight years," he said. "In that time, we have redefined Seafish's role and made great progress to improve the value for money we deliver to industry."

Chairman Charles Howeson paid tribute to Rutherford. "John leaves behind him a legacy of performance improvement and accountability and our heartfelt thanks go to him on behalf of industry for the vigour and intelligence he has brought to this important role."

Seafish was now actively seeking a successor for the role, he said. "We are looking for a replacement for John to continue developing focused, value-for-money services for the seafood industry."