The North Atlantic Seafood Forum (NASF), one of the industry’s largest seafood conferences, will move to an all-digital format next year, and has named a new top executive to lead the charge.
NASF, now in its 16th year, will run over three days from March 9-11.
Andre Akse, a long-time seafood executive who has held roles with the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC), Baader, Pan Fish and Vikenco across 25 years, has been named the new managing director, replacing outgoing managing director Johan Kvalheim, who recently accepted a role to head up the NSC’s operations in Japan.
Akse said it was an easy choice to take the NASF role, given his experience not just in the seafood sector but as an attendee at NASF.
“It’s always brought top executives together, and really given important updates on the industry and where it is headed,” Akse told IntraFish.
The move to digital comes with challenges, Akse said, and will be a learning experience for the forum, but said the benefits come in the extended reach the conference will have, and set the stage for the event’s ambitions to extend its reach globally.
The group will continue to hold the event in person in Bergen when the health crisis passes, Akse said, but the online aspect will likely continue in some form in the future.
“We know the Covid situation will pass and we’ll return to a more normal situation,” Akse said. “We need that physical meeting space to connect with our colleagues in a way we are not normally able to.”
NASF Founder Jorgen Lund said Akse’s appointment brings “strength and solidity” to the event in a particularly challenging time for conferences.
NASF, first held in 2005, attracted around 850 delegates from over 300 companies and 35 countries in 2020. The event covers broad aspects of the seafood industry, including technology, innovation, sustainability, policy and finance, and takes deep dives on species such as salmon, whitefish and pelagics.
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