The 22nd edition of the Responsible Seafood Summit kicks off today. From today Monday until next Thursday, Saint John will host the event that the Global Seafood Alliance (GSA) establishes each year to debate the most important issues shaping the future of the seafood industry, uniting both aquaculture and wild-catch fisheries.
In this 2023 edition, the GSA has the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association as co-host. The event will be held at the Delta, a Marriott hotel located in downtown Saint John.
Although it has changed its name – it began as the Global Shrimp Outlook for Leadership (GSOL) and then became the Global Outlook for Aquaculture Leadership (GOAL) before taking its current name -, the mission of this event held by the GSA since 2001 has not changed. Its objective in this 22nd edition, as in the 21 previous editions, is to provide a pre-competitive platform for knowledge sharing and exchange of ideas among industry leaders.
"This is the world's only seafood event focused on bridging the differences and nurturing the commonalities between aquaculture and fisheries, with the goal of building a more unified front for seafood," claims the organization on the event website.
To achieve this, the Responsible Seafood Summit 2023 has prepared a program that will take place between today, October 2, and next Thursday, October 5, in which around 50 speakers – including some as well-known as Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke Inc. – will identify emerging issues before they become challenges and develop a long-term strategy to address them. Some 400 thought leaders are expected to join the event in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.
The conference program is organized into plenary sessions in the mornings, working groups in the afternoons, and networking events in the afternoons and evenings. In addition, the organization also offers field trips in the afternoons that will give visitors the opportunity to see first-hand how some of the companies in the area work.
The aim of the Global Seafood Alliance with this program is to bring all seafood professionals – from both aquaculture and fisheries – together to discuss their common responsibilities and objectives. To this end, the GSA has an advisory board of 10 members representing all parties involved in the sector, from producers to politicians, representatives from academia, public and private institutions, or associations.
In addition, once again, the world's leading retail and food service companies will be well represented at the show, as buyers play a key role in influencing seafood production practices through corporate social responsibility policies and associated sourcing specifications.
As usual, this 2023 edition will also unveil GSA's unique production forecasts for farmed shrimp and farmed finfish. Gorjan Nikolik from Rabobank will present and discuss the results of the GSA aquaculture production study for 2023, with the collaboration of Ragnar Nystøyl and Chris van Bussel from Kontali. In addition, Angel Rubio from Urner Barry will provide data on the production and trade of several wild seafood species, such as lobster, crab, and groundfish.
Finally, the event will also host the 11th edition of GSA's Responsible Seafood Innovation Awards, which recognize individuals and organizations that find new solutions to the challenges facing seafood. The competition, which consists of two categories, aquaculture and fisheries, has six finalists. The winners will be announced at the award ceremony tomorrow, Tuesday, October 3.
As mentioned above, this year the GSA has the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association (ACFFA) as a co-host. "Atlantic Canada is the perfect place to host the new incarnation of GSA's signature event. In its own unique way, Atlantic Canada embodies the vision of a science-based, collaborative approach to sustainable seafood production," said Susan Farquharson, ACFFA Executive Director. Next year it will be Seafood Scotland that takes over as the Responsible Seafood Summit 2024 will be held at the Fairmont St. Andrews, in historic St. Andrews, on the east coast of Scotland, from October 21-24, 2024.
The Global Seafood Alliance is an international, non-profit trade association dedicated to advancing responsible seafood practices through education, advocacy, and third-party assurances. Established in 1997 – originally as the Global Aquaculture Alliance -, the organization has become the leading provider of assurances for seafood globally through the development of its Best Aquaculture Practices and Best Seafood Practices certification programs. From environmental responsibility and social accountability to food safety, its work addresses the full spectrum of responsibility. headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H., USA.