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World Seafood Congress 2017 blog: Certification, digitization and opening new markets

IntraFish Senior Reporter Dominic Welling was on the ground in Reykjavik, Iceland, where the focus of the 2017 World Seafood Congress was on growth in the 'Blue-Bioeconomy.'

Wednesday, Sept. 13, 12.16 pm GMT

WSC 2019 to take place in Penang, Malaysia

The next edition of the biennial World Seafood Congress – due to take place in 2019 – will happen in Penang, Malaysia, Carey Bonell, president The International Association of Fish Inspectors (IAFI) announced.

The Sept, 2019 edition will focus on representing the Asia Pacific region and will be hosted by a consortium of partners, including the local government, the Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau and the Penang Institute.

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Wednesday, Sept. 13, 11.38 am GMT

Gfresh targeting $1.5 billion in sales by end of 2018

Gfresh, China’s online business to business marketplace for seafood, is expecting its sales to reach CNY 10 billion (€1.3 billion/$1.5 billion) by the end of next year as the Chinese market continues “to explode”.

The company saw sales reach CNY 3 billion (€383.2 million/$459.3 million) last year up from CNY 1 billion (€127.7 million/$153.1 million) the year before, so growth is happening fast, said Gfresh co-founder Anthony Wan.

Gfresh launched just three years ago and has seen rapid market adoption with currently more than 1,000 sellers from over 28 countries and 12,000 buyers on its platform.

China is clearly way ahead of the West when it comes to digital disruption in seafood, according to Wan, with online shopping and payments “already a way of life” and cash a thing of the past.

“This is expanding aggressively and everyone else has too.”

Seafood platforms have “transformed” the wholesale trade in China with a total CNY 150 billion sales estimated for Chinese fresh food platforms in 2017 and there are currently more than 4,000 of these platforms, said Wan.

“But we’re only at the beginning,” he said, and “it has never been easier to build a brand in China.”

The middle classes are estimated to reach 850 million in the next 12 years, while technology will speed up access to new markets.

In addition “cross-border trade friction and barriers will fall and doing business will get easier,” said Wan. But this also means completion will get more intense.

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Wednesday, Sept. 13, 10.28 am GMT

Is 3D food printing the future for seafood?

3D food printing is a thing – and it’s already prevalent among some of Europe’s Michelin star chefs – but what opportunities exist for seafood?

The technology – developed by Barcelona-based Natural Machines – is being tested by Matis as a way of utilizing byproducts and developing new recipes for seafood.

Currently the machines aren’t cheap, but Natural Machine’s Lynette Kucsma is convinced one day not too far from now they will become a common site in kitchens.

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Wednesday, Sept. 13, 10.23 am GMT

Marel investing €60 million per year on innovation

Icelandic equipment manufacturer Marel is spending €60 million each year – or 6 percent of its revenue -- on innovations, as it continues to up its game.

While big strides have been made towards automation in seafood processing – notable examples including Leroy moving towards full automation in its salmon facilities – the seafood processing sector still needs to see improvements in terms of profitability, said Sigurður Ólason.

“The seafood sector still needs to improve when it comes to profitability in processing and distribution,” he said.

“The profits in the future will be in processing and distribution – but the future is now, no need to wait, let’s invest in the future now and transform how food is processed.”

Around 35 percent of processed fish and seafood is still wasted through inefficiencies in processing – “so there is still work to do”, he said.

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Wednesday, Sept. 13, 09.02 am GMT

Using tech to ‘disrupt’ food industry

The food sector, like most other industries, needs to adapt and evolve with the ever changing landscape, and embrace the increased use of technology, urged Dr Holly Kristinsson, from Matís.

Just as iTunes transformed the face of the music industry, or Air BnB with the hotel sector, or Uber within the taxi industry – the food sector must also radically evolve and “disrupt” the current status quo, said Kristinsson.

“The times they are a-changing. And changing fast,” she said. The industry needs to face and tackle challenges such as food waste and food security with technological innovations and technologies.

And it is already happening in food for example with Natural Machines and their 3D food printer; Beyond Meat with their meat free burger; and AquaBounty with GM salmon, she said.

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Tuesday, Sept. 12, 17.02 pm GMT

Trout versus salmon

Traditional UK trout production is in decline, predominantly due to a lower demand for the traditional portion size fish and a shrinking customer base, not to mention the obvious competition with salmon.

But how can the sector turn this around? Currently there is little differentiation between the two fish on the shelves with certain smoked trout selling for exactly the same price per kilo as smoked salmon, and only a minor difference in price per kilo for trout fillets versus salmon fillets.

One marketing strategy even saw a UK producer name the larger trout sizes as “salmon trout” , as sat next to salmon on the shelf, consumers see the word salmon and it’s easy for them to think it’s almost the same thing - chunk of red fish -- and almost interchangeably pick it up.

Trout producers may have access to the much larger, and growing salmon market, but at the same time the “lack of sufficient differentiation from salmon exposes trout to more competition with salmon,” said Dimitar Taskov, from the University of Stirling.

In addition, while the salmon industry is highly consolidated and therefore benefits from economies of scale, trout producers have no particular cost advantages and in turn low bargaining power, he said.

The question, therefore, is on whether trout producer should look to a differentiation strategy or to larger scale operations.

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Tuesday, Sept. 12, 16.31 pm GMT

Disruption is the name of the game

The dynamic nature of the seafood industry means it is always changing, and the sector will have to prepare itself for more disruption and challenges to come.

“We have to know how to walk through the maze of change and companies have to navigate it to deal with increased levels of complexity,” according to Marko Partners’ Jon Stefansson.

It seems it is no longer business as usual, with significant changes recently including Leroy’s move into whitefish by acquiring Havisk and Norway Seafoods as well as Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods.

“So we can expect further consolidation as there will be an increased focus on economies of scale, and value chain integration,” said Stefansson.

There will also be more companies extending their product portfolios and getting closer to the end consumers.

“It’s all about the money and delivering value to shareholders and customers.”

Stefansson said the industry should therefore expect continued change, market challenges and consolidation. Not to mention other wildcards such as Brexit.

“So we will need to deal with more disruption more challenges in the seafood business.”

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Tuesday, Sept. 12, 16.13 pm GMT

Amazon cuts Whole Foods salmon, tilapia prices by a third after acquisition

Retail giant Amazon slashed prices of organic salmon and organic tilapia by 33 percent -- or a third -- following its acquisition of Whole Foods in August, according to Jon Stefansson from Marko Partners.

Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods officially closed on Aug. 28.

The price of Atlantic farmed salmon in Whole Foods on Aug 25 was $14.99 per pound, but on Monday Aug 28 -- following the acquisition -- this was $9.99 per pound.

Similarly the price for tilapia fell from $11.99 per pound to $7.99 per pound.

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Tuesday, Sept. 12, 15.02 pm GMT

Scottish fishing industry ‘moving into the realm’ of competitiveness

Scotland’s fishing sector is “moving into the realm where it finds itself much more competitive in the market,” according to Mike Park from the Scottish White Fish Producers Association (SWFPA) -- but more needs to be done in terms of vertical cooperation.

Over the past decade, the industry has turned itself around whereby it is successfully able to manage stocks better, maintain supply, while at the same time it is investing in state of the art vessels and fishing gear.

The Scottish sector has acquired 10 "state of the art" vessels this year with another 20 in the pipeline to come over the next couple of years. “These are not being added to the fleet but replacing the less economic vessels,” said Park.

In addition the sector is also improving the quality of the fish products it lands and sells which in turn significantly boosts value.

However, “one thing we lack is the vertical cooperation element,” said Park. “We are not quite ready for massive integration, but all parts of the industry need to start working more closely together,” he said.

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Tuesday, Sept. 12, 14.16 pm GMT

EU bass, bream needs marketing help

With the only growth in both fisheries and aquaculture currently coming from Asia – potentially unsustainably -- the European Union needs to start to pull its weight in contributing to the expected future growth and demand for seafood, according to Kontali’s Paul Steinar Valle.

For the moment, however, there is an increasing imbalance in seafood trade in Europe, with the vast majority imported. And although volumes of seafood imports have been more or less stable over the past decade, the value has increased significantly, meaning the EU is paying more for it.

Sea beam and sea bass are two of the major aquaculture species in Europe and while production is increasing, more needs to be done on the marketing and competitiveness front, said Valle.

Production of sea bass has increased 259 percent since 2003 – 11 percent per year – and value by 288 percent. Meanwhile, price has increased 8 percent or 1 percent annually, said Valle.

For sea bream it is a similar story, with production up 200 percent – 10 percent annually – and value up 246 percent. Prices for sea bream are up 16 percent or 2 percent per year.

However, taking Italy as an example, the Greek supplies to the market – indicative for the EU – have been relatively stable between 2008 and 2016, while the increase in market demand has largely been met by Turkey, i.e through imports.

The main driver for this is down to price, said Valle. The price levels from Turkey, the main competitor have been systemically and significantly below those from Greece. “There is essentially a 20 percent discount for Turkish fish,” said Valle. Likewise the emerging North European markets are supplied by imports -- from Turkey.

“So there is a lot to be done to compete,” said Valle. “Production and cost efficiency can be improved, there is room technological development, but crucially there is a need for improved marketing like there is in Norway for salmon which would aid both volume growth and price improvements,” he said.

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Tuesday, Sept. 12, 12.27 pm GMT

Differentiate or die

Since the rise of abalone aquaculture in 2006, Australia’s wild abalone sector has seen cumulative losses of around AUD 421 million in revenue over the past 10 years, with its share of exports to the Chinese market reducing from around 60 percent to just 3 percent in 2016.

Back in 2006 the wild abalone industry was making around AUD 207 million exporting its product to China, but today this figure is AUD 148 million, since abalone aquaculture came along.

“We need to act and differentiate to obtain a market premium for our wild product in China,” said Jayne Gallagher from Honey and Fox Ltd.

To fix this the Australian industry is looking to effective consumer marketing. However this is beyond the capacity of individual producers processors and exporters, and a collaborative, nationwide effort – an Australian version of ASMI -- is critical, said Gallagher.

“The best opportunity we have to make more money is to differentiate our wild product and extract a market premium, increasing revenues for everyone.”

If the industry does nothing, it is likely to witness a 3 percent decline per year to AUD 119 million by 2023. But if it does something to change its predicament, it could target a growth of 3 percent annually and hit AUD 170 million by 2023.

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Tuesday, Sept. 12, 11.47 am GMT

Setting the trend

The seafood industry needs to become more cohesive and united if it wants to get people to eat more seafood.

According to Polly Legendre from Polished Brands, unlike other categories, seafood consumers are still confused – sometimes fearful – about seafood.

“Seafood is too complicated and consumers are still confused, we need to communicate our message more clearly.”

If you want to get people eating more seafood, the sector needs to look at other categories such as beef, who have “got their act together.”

For example, in the United States, the beef industry has a slogan – “Beef, it’s what for dinner” – and has a cohesive, united, stable front.

“We need to get the consumer to trust us, and need to start being more cohesive in our approach,” Legendre said.

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Tuesday, Sept. 12, 11.36 am GMT

Selling fish in a digital world

The emerging e-commerce landscape represents an “incredible opportunity” to market and sell fish and seafood -- and Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) has the proof.

Alexa Tonkovich from ASMI said no one can deny how technology is rapidly transforming the way we shop, and the seafood industry needs to get on board.

“Traditional channels are shifting and blurring,” said Tonkovich and it is the people at the “intersection of physical and virtual worlds,” who will thrive. If not you will become “obsolete” she warned.

Driven by millennials, around one quarter of global consumers are now ordering groceries online. China is a perfect case study.

The country spent $750 billion online in 2016 -- more than US and UK combined – and the ecommerce sector is expected to grow 20 percent annually in the next 5 years.

“And food is the primary driver of growth,” she said. ASMI itself ran a recent trial on China’s Tmall, owned by Alibaba – now the world’s largest retailer.

In the promotion on Tmall, ASMI offered a wide variety of products and used a number of different tactics.

“There was the opportunity to promote Alaskan seafood in a much more complete way than in store,” said Tonkovich.

During the trial ASMI saw nearly 34,000 orders placed for Alaskan seafood – 50 metric tons worth $1 million was sold during pre-sale and 8 metric tons on “Single’s Day”.

King crab sold out within 3 hours and black cod with a day and, importantly, consumer satisfaction reached 99.3 percent.

“So it's clear e-commerce represent an incredible chance to leverage tech and tell our stories better,” said Tonkovich.

Such was the success in China, ASMI is now looking at taking on the e-commerce platforms in the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan.

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Tuesday, Sept. 12, 10.43 am GMT

Iceland salmon growth just as fast as others

Despite being subjected to much criticism over the speed of its growth, the Icelandic salmon sector is moving as the same pace as its peers in Norway and the Faroes, according to Kjartan Ólafsson, chairman of the board at Arnarlax.

Iceland’s salmon production is currently around 6,000 metric tons, compared with 1.2 million in Norway, 518,000 metric tons in Chile and 77,000 metric tons in Faroes, but it is “ten to twenty years behind” these countries, said Olafsson, and it’s growth pattern is the same.

“We’ve been criticised for fast growth and wanting to move fast, we are about 10-20 years behind our peers but we see expected growth,” said Olafsson.

“We expect growth in the next two years in line with other countries.”

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Tuesday, Sept. 12, 09.32 am GMT

Breaking the fisheries poverty trap

New finance models are needed if we are to break the fisheries poverty trap, according to Randall Brummett, senior specialist at the World Bank.

Increasing poverty results in overfishing, which in turn leads to resource degradation and then reduced rents, which ultimately ends in more poverty – this is the cycle in developing countries.

“To break out of poverty trap we need investment, and more equitable distribution of wealth,” said Brummett.

And the focus should be on SMEs and projects which make money by also enhancing the habitat for biodiversity, or those business producing high value per weight products, he said.

To do this new private equity investment models need to be adapted to the blue economy – such as models already used by companies such as AquaSpark.

This new model should in turn then be matched to a new model for public sector engagement.

“Focus on the SMEs and accept the investment will be longterm and the return will be modest,” said Brummett. “So far the model from the World Bank of giving money to governments in this arena has not been too successful, so we need a new model.”

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Tuesday, Sept. 12, 09.09 am GMT

Nordic Innovation focus shifts from bioeconomy to digitalization

For the future investment from Nordic Innovation will not so much focus on the bioeconomy, but instead it will turn its resources to focus on digitalization.

“We will focus on developing a stronger competence and expertise within digitalisation and how we use it in all verticals,” said Nordic Innovation CEO Svein Berg.

“We are turning away from bioeconomy but will focus on projects implementing digitalisation in industries – which is more efficient for Nordic economies."

Nevertheless, the bioeconomy and digitalization are a “perfect match for each other." Both are connected to a profound change in consumer behavior and in the way we look at the world, he said.

“Their union will create abundant opportunities and drive green growth,” said Jaakko Kuusisaari from Tieto in Finland.

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Monday, Sept. 11, 16.06 pm GMT

Stand up and be counted

In Australia, at least, women are often not recognized as being part of the fishing industry -- which is often referred to as “blokes on boats” -- and they are easily forgotten in important political decisions. Even those who are visible, are not rated highly.

“So how do we change the way women are viewed and valued, and what are the barriers?” asked Leonie Noble, a commercial lobster fisher and member of the Women´s Industry Network Seafood Community.

Noble said women in the sector need to challenge the status quo and actively work to change it.

She conceded there is no easy answer but there are identified barriers to work on and “it is up to us as women to be creative and be brave,” she said.

“Don’t be afraid to have a voice, support each other and encourage other women to stand up -- don’t let your comfort zone define your future.”

But most importantly, she has a message for the male dominated management – “don’t make decisions about me without me being at the table.”

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Monday, Sept. 11, 15.32 pm GMT

Making seafood’s invisible women visible

In Australia alone, women make up 55 percent of the seafood workforce, but less than 5 percent are in high powered, influential management roles.

Women’s contribution to the sector in the country is either underestimated or unrecognized, according to Jenny Shaw from the Women´s Industry Network Seafood Community.

Female workers are scattered across the entire industry in Australia – on boats, in aquaculture, in wholesale, in business management, in compliance, in marketing, among other roles – making up 55 percent of the workforce across all sectors.

Yet less than 5 percent are in “decision making or change influencing” roles in management or in the board room.

“This is well below other primary industries in Australia, and reduces the likelihood of balanced outcomes.”

Seafood women must become visible to both government and each other, as the value they bring is “indisputable," said Shaw.

“With a seafood industry constantly under pressure from various factors, why are women a missing voice around the table?”

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Monday, Sept. 11, 14.54 pm GMT

EU sustainability program takes on aquaculture, moves into supermarkets

Mr. Goodfish, an EU program that aims to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable seafood consumption among the general public and professionals, is now turning its scheme to aquaculture products as well as wild.

The program involves the entire seafood value chain, engaging fishermen, seafood producers, wholesalers, restaurants, canteens, fishmongers and consumers in a bid to reduce human pressure on stocks.

Unlike similar consumer-facing schemes, “we take a positive attitude,” said the program's Justine Delettre. “There is no banning of products, but promoting sustainable alternatives to professionals and to the public at large.”

Now the scheme is looking at aquaculture products, which will have to follow the same rules as fisheries products, said Delettre. Namely the mantra “good for the sea, good for you."

“The objective is to reassure consumers about aquaculture and help them to choose farmed fish products,” she said.

Mr. Goodfish already has more than 1,000 partners in France, Italy and Spain among restaurants, schools and fishmongers and others, and it is now involved with supermarkets, said Delettre.

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Monday, Sept. 11, 14.42 pm GMT

Coastal fisheries as sustainable as you can get

Coastal catches from the North Atlantic are among the most sustainable seafood you can find and have the potential to be superior to most other seafood when it comes to freshness and quality, claimed Jónas Vidarsson from Matís.

"There are few food suppliers that can claim to be as sustainable as this sector," he said.

Among other things -- in the coastal fisheries in the North Atlantic -- the fish stocks are in a healthy condition; the fleet uses static fishing gear; by-catches are almost non-existent; and the fish is slaughtered soon after capture – mitigating welfare issues.

In addition, coastal catches are landed on the day of capture, meaning they have the potential to be the freshest and best quality raw materials available, Vidarsson said.

“As a result, the coastal catches are sourced by producers supplying the most demanding and highest paying markets in the world.”

It is, however, up to the fisherman to ensure the fish lives up to this potential.

There are close to 1,000 coastal fishing vessels in Iceland and more than 5,000 in Norway. Some of these do not treat their catches correctly which is why sometimes the final product does not live up to its potential.

“This is a major problem for the sector, as relatively few fishermen can damage the image for the entire sector.”

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Monday, Sept. 11, 14.12 pm GMT

IUU fishing needs concerted action from different angles

Combating illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing requires not only a strong political will but also “concerted action” at regional level, according to the FAO’s Alicia Mosteiro.

This includes through regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) at the flag state level, port states level, coastal states level and market state level.

“We need concerted action from different angles to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing,” said Mosteiro.

IUU fishing is found in all types of fisheries, both on high seas and in areas under national jurisdiction, and concerns all aspects and stages of the fish sector and value chain, she said. It also undermines national and regional efforts to manage fisheries sustainably.

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Monday, Sept. 11, 12.24 pm GMT

Major global buyers commit to GSSI

A number of major global buyers have recently reshaped their sourcing policies to include the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI), said Herman Wisse.

GSSI’s Global Benchmark Tool recognizes certification schemes that are in alignment with the internationally accepted FAO Guidelines.

The idea is to create clarity from the confusion of having numerous certification schemes, and the GSSI hopes to highlight “credible and robust” schemes.

“Now a number of global seafood buyers have updated their sourcing policies to use the GSSI in their decision making,” said Wisse.

These include Walmart, Ahold Delhaize, Kroger, High Liner Foods, Morrisons, Sodexo, Metro Group, Publix, and Giant Eagle.

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Monday, Sept. 11, 12.03 pm GMT

Investing in certification essential for aquaculture

Unfortunately aquaculture is still a heavily criticized industry, and certification is essential for the sector, according to Valeska Weyman of GlobalGAP.

Only 6 percent of aquaculture production is currently certified – of which around half is GlobalGAP, she said -- which “means there is a big potential for improvement.”

“Aquaculture is very heavily criticized and we have to invest in certification and understand there are lots of good practices as well as bad,” she said.

GlobalGAP is currently under assessment by the GSSI and also the only certification scheme for fish farming recognized by the GFSI.

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Monday, Sept. 11, 11.19 am GMT

Don’t fall asleep

Although the industry’s come a long way in terms of certifying sustainable fisheries, there are still some key concerns, according to Kristján Thorarinsson of Fisheries Iceland.

“We’ve come a long way and certification is a reality, but we still have to be careful not to fall asleep, because if we do the wagon may go off the road. And the wagon needs some repairs,” he said.

Thorarinsson said sustainable use is the core, and it all “hinges on having our own house in order.”

The priority should be on the fight for effective fisheries management in a challenging word, and certification is confirmation after the fact.

And Thorarinsson has some issues of particular concern. “Firstly we must avoid private monopoly of standards, and make sure our priorities do not become skewed.

“There is a risk of the process being derailed if everything must be certified, because it would be certified regardless of merits.”

Choice is also essential, he said and there must be more than one option to choose from in certification.

“The fishing industry simply cannot, as a matter of principle and form, tolerate a situation where a single private entitiy, on the basis of a changeable private standard, has sole authority to decide who can sell seafood to the public and who cannot.”

For this reason, as well as others, there must be more than one option to choose from, he said.

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Monday, Sept. 11, 10.55 am GMT

More stocks underexploited than overexploited

More of the world’s fish stocks are in fact underexploited rather than overexploited, according to Ray Hilborn, a professor at the University of Washington.

“There isn’t a global picture, you have to look locally, the picture is different in different locations.”

While the abundance of fish in the sea is increasing in many places it is also decreasing in others, but this is not necessarily a bad thing and can be quite natural, he said.

“We can maintain and sustain food from the sea with appropriate forms of fisheries management,” said Hilborn.

“Where we don’t have assessment data we generally believe status is poor. Even in well managed places there are stocks in poor condition due to ineffective management and natural variability.”

However, it seems there are more places where resources are underexploited rather than overexploited.

Regions particularly good are the United States, Iceland, Norway and New Zealand, others in the European Atlantic are improving rapidly. Stocks in Japan and Latin America, however, are of concern, while stock status in the Mediterranean are particularly bad, he said.

Although unassessed, Hilborn said most of the stocks in south and southeast Asia, are “probably bad."

And a lot is to do with the intensity of fisheries management, he said, and reducing fishing pressure – “quite simply."

Key elements correlated with good stock status include the fact the stock is assessed, the management system effectively regulates fishing pressure in response to changes in abundance, and fisheries regulations are enforced.

Currently there have been scientific assessments of 1,200 fish stocks constituting 50 percent of global catch. While methods such as Costello et al add another 20 percent or so, and expert opinion filling in another 10 to 15 percent.

“But there are still thousands of small scale fisheries that are very important to food security and employment and these need new science and management approaches,” Hilborn said.

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Monday, Sept. 11, 9.58 am GMT

Working smarter not harder

The seafood industry needs to come together and embrace change if It wants to move forward successfully, according to Jayne Gallagher of IAFI and Honey and Fox Ltd.

“We must embrace change. People tend to be fearful of change, fearful of what me might lose, but change is inevitable,” she said.

And both being responsive to this change and working collaboratively is key, she said.

“It is not about what we want but what we need. “We are presented with massive challenges but it’s the people who bring ideas to table and take actions collaboratively, who will bring the changes required.”

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Monday, Sept. 11, 9.40 am GMT

In the hands of the young

Sustainable development goals (SDGs), although often subject to a lot of criticism, concerns and objections, are still a big achievement and can offer guidance in many areas, said Jakob Rhyner, vice rector of the United Nations University – and at least seven contain the word fisheries.

“STGs are only guidelines – they are not recipes, not orders – and therefore compromise is needed,” he said.

But pursuing and implementing STGs is a long term goal, and ultimately will be done by the younger generations, so education is vital.

“Therefore there is another STG and that’s education,” said Rhyner. “All the others have their trade-offs except this, this is not in conflict with any.”

And the UN university is contributing to these goals by offering various training programs, he said.

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Monday, Sept. 11, 9.12 am GMT

Bridging the gender gap

Þorgerður Katrín Gunnarsdóttir, Iceland’s minister of fisheries and agriculture is calling on the seafood sector to “bridge the gender gap."

While praising the “significant progress” the industry has made in increasing both the quality and value of seafood products, she said more still needs to be done for gender inequality.

“This will benefit us all, the sector as a whole will benefit from it,” said Gunnarsdóttir. “Please take significant steps in bridging this gap.”

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Monday, Sept. 11, 9.00 am GMT

Need to do a better job

As we all know, seafood will be key to future global food security as the world’s population expands, but it still needs to do a better job at communicating this, according to Carey Bonell, president of The International Association of Fish Inspectors (IAFI), in his opening remarks.

Bonell outlined both the challenges -- the sector still has a negative reputation in terms of sustainability -- and “tremendous opportunities” of seafood, and said that while some major progress has been made, “much more needs to be done."

He noted how Iceland is increasingly recognized as a leader in sustainable seafood production and innovation, and a great example of what can be achieved when industry, academia and government come together to maximize opportunities in the seafood value chain.

“A more collective and collaborative global effort is need in the seafood sector,” he said.

The FAO is warning 40 million metric tons of seafood will be needed by 2030 just to maintain current consumption levels.

“The global seafood sector has a compelling story to tell in terms of contributions to future food security but it is not doing a good enough job telling that story as other food sectors,” said Bonell.

“Some are doing well individually, but collectively on global scale can do much better job.”

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Monday, Sept. 11, 8.00 am GMT

Seafood world descends on Iceland

Welcome to Reykjavik, Iceland, for this year’s World Seafood Congress (WSC) 2017, taking place from Sept. 11 to 13 at the Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre.

The focus of the WSC 2017 will be on growth in the “Blue-Bioeconomy," with the three main pillars of the event looking at seafood innovation and investment opportunities; food integrity and value chain transparency; and food safety in the context of seafood innovation and international trade.

The World Seafood Congress brings together a global audience of seafood processors and importers, academia, public and private organizations, fish inspectors and government.

The event acts as a platform for attendees to exchange information, ideas and methodologies for the fish, seafood and associated products sector, as well as on inspection, quality management and seafood processing technology.

Also at this year’s event, WSC will focus on bringing more women into the seafood sector, and as part of the commitment are bringing a much higher percentage of speakers to the event than most conferences in the sector.

The first World Seafood Congress (WSC) was held in Halifax in 1969. The second congress was held 27 years later in Washington where it was concluded that frequent meetings would be useful to share experience and practices.

Since 1996 the World Seafood Congress (WSC) has been held every two years in locations all around the world. The WSC 2017 is organized by Matís – Icelandic Food and Biotech R&D.

-- IntraFish Media

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