Hundreds of seafood stakeholders heading to Spain to tackle top sustainability issues

Published on
June 8, 2018

Barcelona, Spain will play host to more than 100 speakers and even more attendees from across the sustainable seafood movement for this year’s SeaWeb Seafood Summit, occurring from 18 to 21 June at the Hotel Arts. 

Over the course of up to five days, summit speakers and registered attendees – including global representatives from the seafood industry, the conservation community, retail/foodservice, academia, government and the media – will convene to learn, network, and problem solve, said Diversified Communications, which produces the summit in partnership with SeaWeb. 

“This year, we’ve expanded interactive formats across more sessions,” said Brenna Hensley, event director for Diversified Communications. “This forum vastly benefits from wide participation and input from diverse stakeholders.”

The educational sessions planned for the summit are formatted as “engagement-driven panels or workshops,” explained Diversified, and aim to unpack and troubleshoot challenging and emerging issues within the seafood sustainability oceanscape. 

The event will feature several plenary and panel discussions, including the opening session set to take place on Tuesday, 19 June at 11:15 a.m.: “Is Spain Really as Important as the Global Seafood Sustainability Movement Believes?” During this kickoff plenary, “panelists will examine the key factors that explain and drive the success of the global seafood sustainability movement through the lens of global consumer appetite for mature (whitefish, small shrimps, salmon, cold water crabs) and non-mature (octopus and squid) markets,” Diversified said in a press release. 

Such discussions will continue to heat up on Wednesday, 20 June, when the plenary “Building Socially Responsible Seafood Supply Chains Through Worker Voice,” is scheduled to take place. The session will involve a “dynamic, multi-stakeholder “ perspective on the concept of worker voice, covering why worker voice is important and how to incorporate it into seafood supply chains. 

Also scheduled for 20 June is the panel session “Maximizing the Whole Fish: How By-Products Can Increase Food Production, Value, and Sustainability,” wherein experts will challenge attendees to consider fish guts, heads, and skins “as valuable raw materials key to sustainable seafood production.” The panel will “use real-world examples to show how by-products can boost a business’s bottom line and will share the latest seafood by-product trends and opportunities,” according to summit organizers.

Wednesday will also include a session titled “Fishery Improvements Towards Sustainability in the Mediterranean Sea: Medfish a Collaborative Approach,” that will highlight the alarming deterioration of fish stocks and marine mammals in the Mediterranean Sea. Panelists will consider how this trend came about and what can be done to reverse it, while discussing in depth the Medfish Project, which is uniting fishing fleets, public authorities, scientists, NGOs and markets at a regional level to address this shared concern.

Policy will be at the center of Thursday’s panel session: “Case for Action: How Science-Based Fisheries Management Requirements Are Good for the Oceans, Business, and the World.” Voices from a diverse cast of U.S. and E.U. seafood stakeholders will factor heavily into the session, which will see panelists critiquing respective regulatory standards related to these countries, including the U.S. Magnuson-Stevens Act and the E.U. Common Fisheries Policy.   

Beyond the panel sessions, many other hot topics will be covered during the Summit, including the massive growth of aquaculture and how to finance and optimize it; traceability benefits, limitations, and challenges; the plastics problem; and consumer consumption trends. 

Conference attendees are welcome to further extend their summit experience by joining a pre-conference seminar focusing on tuna on 18 June (free for full conference pass holders this year), and/or participating in a post-conference field trip for an additional fee, organizers said. 

More information about the conference and its program can be found at the event’s official website,  

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