ANALYSIS - Companies from all over the world gathered last week in Brussels for the European Seafood Exposition (soon to be called the Global Seafood Exposition due to its global appeal). Sustainable fishing and aquaculture were the hot topics of moving forward in the industry, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.
This year show was larger than ever and with a very large representation from China, indicating the growing importance of the country in the burgeoning aquaculture industry in the region.
Other countries such as Thailand, Viet Nam, Sri Lanka and Taiwan in particular, were also strongly represented, pushing for a greater share of the global market and also demonstrating their push for greater sustainability through various accreditation schemes. The development of the South East Asian aquaculture sector was a feature of the seminars surrounding the expo.
At the show, GLOBALG.A.P, the Global Aquaculture Alliance and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council signed an agreement to harmonise their global aquaculture standards.
The organisations agreed to explore ways to reduce duplication of effort for farms, processing plants, hatcheries and feed mills that undertake certification by more than one of the three organisations’ certification programmes, in order to better promote more environmentally responsible farming.
The Sustainable Trade Initiative also released its Farmers in Transition (FIT) Fund whilst at the show. The fund aims to help shrimp farmers, globally, finance a transition towards responsible shrimp production.
Sustainable aquaculture and fishing is also of great importance to Chile. During the show the Chilean authorities unveiled a new law that will ensure seafood exported by the country is produced in a sustainable manner.
Pablo Galilea, Chile’s Undersecretary for Fishery, said the new legislation "will give stability and sustainability to this productive sector. We want to offer high-quality products to Europe and emergent nations, but knowing that they all were originated from a sustainable fishing and aquaculture production."
In disease news, following an inspection of farms in the Northern Aysen region, Chile, the Sernapesca confirmed that no further outbreaks of Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) have been found.
An outbreak of Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia has been confirmed on a saltwater amberjack farm in Tsukumi bay, Japan.