Monday, 7 September 2015

World Seafood Congress 2015 at Grimsby

Through the Gaps will carry a live twitter feed #WSC2015 for the conference.

GRIMSBY was today preparing to host its biggest fishing event to date – the 2015 World Seafood Congress.

With almost 100 speakers from more than a dozen countries, it is truly a global event and it has come to the Humber for the first time.

Last night the delegates were treated to a civic welcome at the newly refurbished pier in the neighbouring seaside resort of Cleethorpes.

Local North East Lincolnshire Council Leader Ray Oxby told the 250 delegates they had come to a town which was the centre of the largest concentration of fish processing in the UK.

Although the World Seafood Congress mainly represents international fish inspectors, the three-day line-up of speakers is drawn from virtually every sector of the fishing and seafood industry.

The theme is ‘Upskillling for a Sustainable Future’.

The congress will welcome 46 speakers from its host nation, while the rest of the programme has been filled with experts from five of the world’s seven continents, representing leading industry bodies, academic institutions and non-government organisations

Three of the speakers will be making a 10,000-mile journey from Australia to address the delegates.

Dr Lahsen Ababouch, director at the Food and Agriculture Organisation, and Steffen Kaeser, from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation in Vienna, will speak on the opening day.

They will be joined on day two by UK based Geoff Ogle, director at the Food Standards Agency for Scotland, and Carl O’Brien, Defra’s chief fisheries science adviser, who will discuss the food safety challenges facing the sector and the state of the North East Atlantic seafood stocks.

Also speaking is Stephen Hall of the World Fish Centre, and Brussels based Stelios Mitolidis, deputy head of the Illegal Unregulated and Unreported Unit for catches at the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

Mountaineer and explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes is guest speaker at the gala dinner tomorrow.

The closing day of the congress will feature a talk from Liv Homefjord, director of fisheries in Norway, while Chris Grieve, executive director at Meridian Prime, will round off the keynote speaker programme with a discussion centred on the congress’ sustainability theme.

Paul Williams, chief executive of Seafish, the Grimsby based industry authority hosting this year’s congress, said: ‘The commercial success of the fishing industry relies upon effective export and trade relationships between different nations. The opportunities are vast.’