Reasons for Optimism - Marcus Coleman's May blog

Posted on 08 May 2018

Last month played host to one of my annual favourites of the seafood year, The Seafood Expo Global in Brussels. It is the world's largest seafood trade event with more than 26,000 buyers, suppliers, media, and other seafood professionals from more than 140 countries taking part. This year had a distinctly feel-good factor radiating around the vast halls.

I think the industry is inherently resilient and passionate about feeding the world so I have come to expect positive messages and optimism. This year, however, those feelings seemed elevated even higher and visitors to the Seafish stand were in good voice with much to talk about!

Seafish seized the opportunity to deliver a number of important briefings and announcements. These included a major announcement on the future of Seafish's RFS which you can read more about in the news section below.

Later, we co-hosted a session entitled 'Challenging preconceptions of the seafloor habitat impact of bottom trawling'. In this session Prof Ray Hilborn (University of Washington), Dr Alex Caveen (Seafish) and Dr Jennifer Shepperson (Bangor University) provided a global overview of the science on mobile bottom gear impacts, demonstrating that with good data, the footprint and impact of trawling in many cases is not as great as previously claimed. Afterwards, a lively Q&A session allowed attendees to delve deeper into this topic with the speakers.

We also hosted the ILO on our stand to talk about their new 'Ship to Shore Rights Project'. This initiative is helping the government, employers, buyers, and workers to end labour abuses in the Thai fishing and seafood industry, and drew an engaged crowd from a range of backgrounds.

While visitors to the Seafish stand were also furnished with the very latest Seafish factsheets, giving a whole wealth of up to date market information. These factsheets are packed full of insight which could help your business and are available on our website.

Undoubtedly I left Brussels more optimistic than ever that Seafish, and the seafood industry, are up to the challenges ahead and able to take advantage of any opportunities which may present themselves in the forthcoming years. With our new board now in place, and full of a passion and endeavour which is mirrored by Seafish's team, these are exciting times ahead for all of us.