Fishers of news
IntraFish Media is a Norwegian company with offices around the world, bringing news to the fishing industry
Editorial Director of IntraFish Media, Drew Cherry, has a proud claim to make.
“What’s interesting is that we launched as a paid online news service in 2001,” he says. “I would challenge you to find anyone who did that before us.”
He’s right: even publications like The New York Times launched their paid online service in 2011 – a whole decade later! – and many news services continue to struggle with this platform today.
But not IntraFish. They’ve got it figured out. Their website – IntraFish.com – is polished and easy to read, drawing visitors in with alluring headlines and boldly displayed photos. Clicking on one of these leads you straight to a login screen.
“To have our roots in the Web has been very helpful,” Cherry says.
IntraFish, the world’s largest seafood news and information provider, serves seafood industry professionals from the retail, foodservice, processing, fishing and aquaculture sectors. The Norwegian company has its headquarters in Bergen, as well as satellite offices around the world, including London, Chile, Singapore and Seattle, Wash.
The company is owned by Norwegian media conglomerate NHST (Norges Handels og Sjøfartstidende / Norwegian Trade and Maritime Times). Boasting a long and respectful history, dating back to 1889, the media group publishes a prominent Norwegian newspaper, Dagens Næringsliv, and has expanded into nautical charts, new media companies and more. “It’s a large and diverse company,” says Cherry of NHST, which aside from operating IntraFish also prints Tradewinds (covering the shipping industry), Upstream (oil and gas), Recharge (clean energy), and maintains digital platforms TDN, Europower, and others.
In 1997, Intrafish had been established as a small fact service to the Norwegian salmon industry. In 2000, NHST took notice and attained majority acquisition of the company. The Norwegian website IntraFish.no was launched in 2001, and the global edition, IntraFish.com, followed in 2002. In 2003, IntraFish surpassed 5,000 paying subscribers. By 2011, NHST completed acquisition of the company, and IntraFish boasted close to 20,000 paying subscribers.
“It’s been a fun journey, to be with a media company like this,” says Cherry, who joined IntraFish as a reporter in 2002. “It’s developed fairly quickly. We’ve gone from just a handful of employees to 80 – 85 employees around the world.”
During the course of his time at Intra-Fish, Cherry relocated to Bergen for four years with his family. That time was of utmost importance to him. “I got to experience working immersed in Norwegian culture – and learning all the idiosyncrasies of a Norwegian company,” he says.
Back in the Seattle office now, Cherry emphasizes IntraFish’s global reach. “We are on Skype every single day, always communicating on a global level,” he says. One glance at IntraFish.com confirms this; stories range from Russia to India and China to Brazil. There’s no doubt that IntraFish offers the most comprehensive news coverage of the global seafood industry.
And it’s not just international scope that IntraFish offers its subscribers; it’s also news from every aspect of the industry. “We try to have a presence in every step of the seafood chain, from harvesting to sales,” Cherry says. This broad spectrum of in-depth reporting also serves a different population: the seafood consumer. On their Facebook page, IntraFish states that its mission is to “inspire excellence in the seafood industry.” With their high standard of detail and sheer scope, it’s easy to see how they carry this out.
In the Seattle office, three employees report on the wealth of seafood news coming out of the west coast port, while three others sell subscriptions. “Seattle is one of the world’s major capitals of the seafood industry,” says Cherry. There’s never a lack of information, and in fact the company is in the process of hiring on another reporter.
The Pacific Northwest has long known Norwegian connections in the fishing industry – for example, two major U.S. seafood companies, Trident Seafoods and American Seafoods, have strong Norwegian ties and got their start in the Pacific Northwest. IntraFish, too, reflects this strong Norwegian-American connection.
“We are a Norwegian company, and that’s to our great benefit,” says Cherry. When the world economy took a turn for the worst in recent years, for example, “the fact that we are a Norwegian group made a huge difference.” Norway’s economy has stayed stable even in the face of financial crisis in Europe, keeping IntraFish strong the world over.
“The core of who we are and where we’re going is Norway,” Cherry says. “Our DNA is Norwegian.”
This article originally appeared in the September 20, 2013 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.