Tom Pickerell's September Round Up 2015

Posted by Tom Pickerell, Technical Director on 08 September 2015

Seafish is hosting the biennial "World Seafood Congress" in Grimsby from Saturday 5th to Wednesday 9th September. In 2013 the Congress was held at St John's in Canada and before that, in 2011, In Washington DC. As the seafood capital of Europe, it is fitting that Grimsby has it's turn hosting.

The goal of these seafood congresses is to build on existing and create new partnerships seafood professionals to benefit global seafood trade. It aims to profile innovation in seafood and provide opportunities for maximum participation by all countries involved in seafood trade.  This is accomplished through various means throughout the event including expert panels, debates, workshops and formal presentations.

The theme of our Congress is "Upskilling for a Sustainable Future" and this neatly encompasses what we hope to achieve. The meat of the event will be talks and presentations from  seafood professionals from around the world. This year's World Seafood Congress will feature more than 96 speakers from across the globe.

We have also secured some top quality keynote speakers including Tanya Arkle, Head of Fisheries at Defra; Dr Lahsen Ababouch, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); Steffen Kaeser, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO); Geoff Ogle, Food Standards Scotland (FSS);  Dr Carl O'Brien, Cefas;  Stephen Hall, World Fish Centre;  Stelios Mitolidis, DG MARE; Liv Holmefjord, Director of Fisheries - Norway Management of Fisheries and Aquaculture and Chris Grieve, Meridian Prime.

Our guest speaker is Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE "The World's Greatest Living Explorer" who will also deliver the Congress Gala Dinner speech.

Several Seafish staff are delivering presentations demonstrating the range of expertise within the organisation. Speakers include Libby Woodhatch (Addressing social challenges in the seafood supply chain), Ivan Bartolo  (Developments in food safety legislation and the impacts on importing seafood into the EU), Julia Brooks (Catching Foodservice opportunities in challenging times), Phil MacMullen (Changing baselines), Richard Watson (Seafood shopper insight), Tom Pickerell (Risk Assessment for Sourcing Seafood (RASS): a tool to help buyers source seafood at stock and fisheries level) and Bill Lart (Development of ecological risk screening and data limited stock assessments). 

Away from the Congress Seafish are coming to the end of our Corporate Plan Roadshow. Over the last few months we have travelled the UK, and Brussels, to meet with our stakeholders and introduce the our Corporate Plan for 2015-18. We have greatly enjoyed meeting people and explaining our work, and receiving some extremely helpful feedback. We have learnt a lot, including the popularity of our seafood sourcing tool, RASS, with fish & chip shop operators, the high regard you have for our regional teams  and the high level of interest in our work in promoting seafood consumption. Our final roadshow takes place tomorrow in Aberystwyth.