UK - The World Seafood Congress (WSC) kicked off today in Grimsby with 35 sessions led by spokespeople from across the global seafood industry.
The congress, held at the Grimsby Institute, was opened by Timothy Hansen, president of IAFI and Dr Paul Williams, chief executive of Seafish, the industry authority hosting this year’s event.
The morning session saw a selection of talks centred on the topics of sustainability, trade and skills chaired by key industry figures including Brian Young, chief executive at the British Frozen Food Federation, Ivan Jaines-White, Grimsby Seafood Village and George Krawiec from Seafood Grimsby and Humber.
As part of these sessions, special attention was given to the UK’s continued success in training the next generation of fish friers. Richard Wardell, training and accreditation manager at the National Federation of Fish Friers spoke to delegates about the development opportunities available to UK fish and chip shops, explaining how investment in training can help improve sales for many establishments. Following this, Rachel Tweedale, winner of 2014 Drywhite Young Fish Frier of the Year Award, explained how the competition helps aspiring young people develop key industry skills and knowledge.
In the afternoon, delegates were treated to a range of speeches from an international perspective including a special session on the view from emerging seafood markets from Dr Sevin Kose at the Karadeniz Technical University, who examined seafood trade in the Turkish Black Sea region, while Sujeew Ariyawansa at the UNUFTP discussed the microbiological quality of exported seafood in Sri Lanka.
A number of seafood myths were also debunked in the afternoon by speakers including Micheal Cohen, retail and education associate for Europe and America, who considered if gear types have an effect on sustainability, while Phil McMullen from Seafish examined whether historic predictions about the state of the marine environment match up to its current state.
The 2015 World Seafood Congress will be held in Grimsby until 9 September and brings together a global audience of seafood processors and importers, academia, public and private organisations, fish inspectors and government. Each day will see discussions in trading initiatives and developments in the seafood sector.