Newlyn Fish Market - boats due to land.

Monday, 1 February 2021

Neil Hornby has taken over as the new CEO of CEFAS


Neil Hornby has taken over as the new CEO of CEFAS (Center for Environmental Sciences, Fisheries and Aquaculture), the UK scientific body. 

Following the retirement of Tom Karsten earlier this year, Defra has appointed Neil Hornby as the new Chief Executive of Cefas. Neil will take up his new post in January 2021. Until then Tim Green will continue as Interim Chief Executive. Neil Hornby is currently the Director of Marine and Fisheries in Defra, a post he has held since 2016.

Neil Hornby said: 

"It is an enormous privilege to be appointed as Cefas Chief Executive. It is an exciting time to be joining Cefas as the UK takes on responsibility for managing our fisheries and we continue to strengthen our leading role in protecting the marine environment around the world. Science and analysis will be at the heart of this and I’m look forwarding to working with everyone in Cefas to make the most of the opportunities ahead."

Welcoming Neil’s appointment, Director General for Environment Rural and Marine David Hill said: 

"I’m delighted that Neil will be the new CEO of Cefas. He brings a wealth of experience in marine and fisheries to the role, and will provide great leadership to Cefas’ mission to deliver the highest quality marine science."

The main challenge facing the new head of CEFAS will be to ensure that the research centre continues to provide the UK government with the science and “benchmark” evidence necessary to support the achievement of government objectives for animal health, fisheries and marine environment, explains the Government. An objective that, after the 'Brexit', acquires even more relevance.


The Government also highlights that 2021 will be a "super year" for ocean science and global action to protect the ocean. "CEFAS has a great opportunity to contribute to the government's efforts to ensure greater international ambition to protect our ocean," says the Government, which mentions the presidency of the UK G7 and in the Convention on Biological Diversity in China and the COP26 in Glasgow.