TUNA 2020 joins list of seafood trade shows postponed due to coronavirus outbreak

Published on
March 5, 2020

Infofish has decided to postpone TUNA 2020, its tuna conference in Bangkok, Thailand, due to concern about the outbreak of COVID-19.

The 16th edition of the World Tuna Trade Conference & Exhibition, which was scheduled to take place from 27 to 29 May this year, will be rescheduled to ensure the health of attendees, the organizer said in a statement.

“We realize that this may come as a disappointment to conference delegates, exhibitors, co-organizers, sponsors, supporters, collaborators, and visitors,” Infofish said.

The organizer said by the end of February, its exhibition hall had been booked out, and attendance from speakers and participants had been already confirmed.

“The decision to reschedule was therefore a difficult one, driven by our responsibility to ensure the best interests of all those concerned, and particularly their good health. Our prime consideration was the safety and wellbeing of all those who would have attended TUNA 2020 this year,” Infofish said, adding that it is closely monitoring the situation surrounding the coronavirus outbreak and will announce new dates after considering global developments.

The deadly virus, reportedly tracked to a seafood market in Wuhan, China, has become a global concern.

Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America, scheduled to take place 15 to 17 March in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., has also been postponed by the event’s organizer, Diversified Communications. The decision was made on 3 March in response to growing concerns over the global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, according to Diversified Communications Group Vice President Liz Plizga.

“This decision has been difficult because of the major importance of this event to the industry,” Plizga said in a letter to attendees. “We heard from those of you who were concerned about health, safety, and travel restrictions, and given the short time before the scheduled event date, and upcoming logistics, we have determined that postponement at this time is unavoidable.”

In Vietnam, a government-sponsored exhibition that was previously planned to take place in the Mekong Delta in March has been rescheduled to June in response to the epidemic.

The Vietshrimp Aquaculture International Fair 2020, sponsored by Vietnam’s General Department of Fisheries and the Can Tho City government, will now take place 3 to 5 June in Can Tho. It had been set to take place 25 to 27 March.

And the organizers of the Aquafeed Horizons 2020 conference, scheduled to take place 24 March in Bangkok, Thailand, pulled the plug on 24 February.

“This was a very difficult decision, and we waited as long as we could in the hope that the coronavirus epidemic would slow, but unfortunately we are not seeing that,” Suzi Dominy, the publisher of show organizer Aquafeed.com, said in a press release. “We are sorry to disappoint our delegates but their safety and well-being, as well as that of our presenters and staff has to come first. It would have been irresponsible to go ahead with an international meeting in this region; we really didn’t have a choice.”

The rapid outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has killed 3,284 people in the world, mainly in mainland China, with several cases confirmed in China and other countries, including in South Korea, Italia, Iran, the United States, Japan, Thailand, and Germany, South China Morning Post reported 5 March.

Contributing Editor reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam

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