Cousteau, IUU task force highlight SeaWeb Seafood Summit lineup

New additions to the 11th International SeaWeb Seafood Summit include an address from Fabien Cousteau, grandson of famed oceanographic explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

And, following the keynote address by Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, the opening plenary will be immediately followed by a report from the Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud on their much-anticipated implementation strategy.

The SeaWeb Summit will be held 11 February at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

“The collaborations that have been fostered by the preeminent group of global seafood leaders who attend the Summit have served as the foundation for much of the progress on sustainable seafood," said Dawn M. Martin, SeaWeb president. “Having some of the best and brightest minds on sustainability and the most innovative seafood companies together under one roof has drawn the interest and engagement of both the Presidential Task Force on Combating IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud and of world renowned ocean explorer Fabien Cousteau at the Summit.”

Cousteau will moderate the concluding plenary panel to highlight the progress that attendees will have made during the Summit on key issues such as growth in aquaculture, fishery improvement projects, illegal fishing, and responsible sourcing. Cousteau will also deliver the closing keynote address of the Seafood Summit, which will follow the panel. 

Cousteau continues to fulfill his family’s legacy to protect and preserve the planet’s extensive and endangered marine inhabitants and habitats. Cousteau's audience at the Summit will include stakeholders from the nonprofit community, scientists and seafood industry professionals from around the world gathered to create solutions consistent with Cousteau's belief that environmental discipline can be the basis for cutting-edge solutions that strike a balance between regional, as well as global, environmental problems and the realities of market economies.

Plant A Fish, a nonprofit organization founded by Fabien Cousteau and designed to empower communities and children to help restore local water ecosystems through the healthy “replanting” of key marine species, currently has restoration projects in El Salvador, New York City, South Florida and the Maldives. The Republic of the Maldives is being honored at the Seafood Summit as a finalist at the SeaWeb Seafood Champion Awards for their groundbreaking work to promote sustainability in the Indian Ocean longline tuna industry.

The Summit features several other side events designed to expand awareness of some of the most high-profile issues in seafood sustainability. Summit participants are invited to attend “Celebrity Chef Lionfish Challenge — Malicious but Delicious!” a reception highlighting culinary creations featuring lionfish, an invasive species that is rapidly displacing native species throughout the Caribbean and up the lower eastern seaboard of the United States.  

Past Seafood Champion and Chef Barton Seaver will serve as emcee of the reception, which is being held in partnership with NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The invasion of lionfish currently threatens two U.S. sanctuaries in the Gulf of Mexico that are connected to the New Orleans coast — Florida Keys to the east and Flower Garden Banks to the west.

Dishes featuring lionfish will be presented by celebrity chefs Brian Barber of Fleet Landing Restaurant, Charleston, S.C.; Xavier Deshayes of International Trade Center, Washington, D.C.; Eric Damidot of the Hyatt Hotel, New Orleans, La.; Jean-Philippe Gaston of Izakaya Itanji, Houston, Texas; Dana Honn of Carmo, New Orleans; Roberto Leoci of Leoci’s Trattoria, Savannah, Ga.; and John Mirabella of Castaway Waterfront Restaurant, Marathon, Fla.

Another side event offered to Summit participants includes an “on the ground” look at the devastating loss of critical coastline habitat in the region, including the shores of the Mississippi River and coastal wetlands in the Gulf. Approximately 1.1 million acres from Louisiana's coast are expected to be lost in the next 50 years without decisive action. The Mississippi River Delta and Estuary Restoration Tour field trip will allow attendees to tour an area with some of the highest rates of land loss in addition to being one of the hardest hit by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. They will also see firsthand several important restoration projects that will highlight the vibrancy and resilience of this region.

The SeaWeb Seafood Summit brings together global representatives from the seafood industry with leaders from the conservation community, academia, government and the media for in-depth discussions, presentations, and networking around the issue of sustainable seafood. The goal of the Summit is to foster dialogue and partnerships that lead to a seafood marketplace that is environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable. The conference is produced in partnership by SeaWeb and Diversified Communications., Diversified’s online publication, is the official industry media for this year’s Seafood Summit and the international online business tool to keep seafood industry professionals informed and connected on the conference’s topics and activities.

Click here to see SeafoodSource's full coverage of SeaWeb Seafood Summit 2015 >


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