2019 SeaWeb Seafood Summit agenda features Thailand field trips, new session formats

A diverse group of seafood sustainability advocates, leaders, and stakeholders will convene in Bangkok, Thailand next month for the 15th edition of the SeaWeb Seafood Summit, for what promises to be the most experiential iteration of the event yet, according to conference organizer Diversified Communications. 

Taking place from 10 to 14 June at the Shangri-La Hotel, the 2019 SeaWeb Seafood Summit will feature new SeaWeb Seafood Summit engagement-enhancing session formats, Diversified said in a press release. In addition to engaging with the event’s three-day primary conference program, SeaWeb Seafood Summit attendees will also be welcome to participate in a focused half-day seminar, lightning-round talks, offsite field trips, workshops, interactive breakout sessions, and more. 

For the second consecutive year, the summit will host an intensive pre-conference seminar free to all Full Conference Pass and Tuesday Day Pass attendees. The seminar, titled “Amplifying Worker Voice: Integrating Worker Engagement Approaches into Ethical Supply Chain Management,” will be held on Monday, 10 June, and will focus on how to bridge the gap globalization has created between those who manage supply chains and those who work within them. Sponsored by Humanity United and The Freedom Fund, the seminar will be facilitated by Tobias Aguirre, CEO at FishWise, alongside a team of complementary experts who aim to equipped attendees with “a better understanding of the benefits of and pathways to ethical worker engagement, including next steps to take within their own organizations,” according to Diversified. 

New to the summit in 2019 will be the option to choose one of five different experiences for the morning of Wednesday, 12 June, the third day of the event. Options include two offsite field trips and three interactive workshops, plus a pre-lunch networking break. Field trips are limited to 30 people on a first-come, first-serve basis through conference registration, Diversified said, but attendees who stay onsite will also have three great workshop experiences to choose from.

The day three field trips include: 

  • Thailand Department of Fisheries Monitoring Center (FMC), sponsored by the Thailand Department of Fisheries – Attendees will tour the FMC, which supplies intelligence and provides support to inspection and enforcement agencies, and view the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) technology the Department uses to monitor Thai fishing vessels fishing in Thai waters and beyond. 
  • Thai Union Innovation Center, sponsored by Thai Union — Participants will go on a walking tour around the penthouse and basement of Thai Union’s Global Innovation Center, where assumptions are challenged and problems solved using out-of-the-box ideas, and view the pilot plant where Thai Union tests innovations in semi-manufacturing scale.

Meanwhile, the on-site day three workshops include:

  • Money Matters: How do we Pay for Social and Environmental Sustainability? – A panel of purchasing, export, supply chain management, and conservation philanthropy experts will challenge attendees’ funding assumptions and explain how and why stakeholders make socially and environmentally sustainable purchasing and investment decisions, including the levers, incentives, risks, and first steps.
  • Building Momentum for FIPS in Southeast Asia – This workshop will discuss how the principles behind the Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) model, which is optimized primarily to certify large export-driven fisheries, can also be applied to small-scale fisheries. While certification may not be an option for these fisheries, there’s often significant potential for conservation gains.
  • On the Frontlines: How Multi-Sector Partnerships can Strengthen Maritime Security and Advance Environmentally and Socially Responsible Seafood – This panel, led by Honey Elias and Darrick McNeill from the National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office, will convene experts from across the Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) sectors, seafood industry, ocean conservation, and human rights/labor space to explore the needs and opportunities for collaboration and illustrate how multi-sector partnerships can strengthen and advance maritime security, seafood sustainability and social justice.   

Lightning rounds, back by popular demand, will also be a part of day three’s agenda. 

“These quick, single-speaker presentations are limited to 10 minutes and three slides, with a comprehensive Q&A session following each hour-long block. Topics range from labeling and branding, to canned tuna issues, to how to motivate people to buy sustainable seafood online,” the press release said. 

Summit attendees can also opt-in to attend a field trip on Friday, 14 June, to Samut Sakhon PIPO Center Visit and Processing Plant after the conference formally closes. The field trip, which is sponsored by Thai Union and the Thailand Department of Fisheries, will give participants a behind-the-scenes look at a leading local exporter and one of the 30 control centers keeping Thai vessels in compliance across the country’s 22 provinces.  

“The day begins with a tour of the Department of Fisheries Port-In Port-Out (PIPO) control center in Samut Sakhon, where representatives from the Ministry of Labor, the Marine Department, the Department of Fisheries and the Royal Thai Navy work together as an integrative, autonomous body to ensure that large fishing vessels coming in and out of port are all electronically monitored, equipped with relevant legal documents, correct fishing gear and supplementary equipment, and free of labor violations. Next, attendees will enjoy a seafood lunch at a local restaurant before ending the day at the Thai Union Feedmill in Samut Sakhon, a producer and exporter of aquatic animal feed. There, attendees will get a behind-the-scenes look at the production of shrimp feed, freshwater fish feed, marine fish feed, and extruded feed before touring the company’s shrimp trial ponds,” Diversified said. 

Industry members and guests can register at https://seafoodsummit.org/reg for a conference pass, which includes the 10 June Seminar, but will need an upgrade if they wish to attend the 14 June field trip.

The official hashtag for the event is #SWSS19. SeafoodSource, which is owned and operated by Diversified, is the official media source for the conference. 


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