On Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 May, global industry leaders from a range of sectors related to aquaculture, seafood and ocean management will meet in London for the Blue Food Innovation Summit 2023.
The major themes for this year's summit are sustainability and technology, with a busy agenda covering diverse themes in blue food production, data, environment, feed, policy, and more.
The two days of meetings begins with a deep dive into global sustainability. Melanie Siggs, Director of Strategic Engagement at the Global Seafood Alliance, will chair a special session on sustainable production of blue food, in the context of global protein requirements and the need to ensure a carbon-neutral and circular blue food chain. The session will include inputs from Andrew Swanson, Vice President Research and Development, Cooke Inc., Catarina Martins, Chief Technology and Sustainability Officer at Mowi, Katherine Bryar, Global Marketing Director at BioMar, and Tore Eliassen, Global Head of Sustainable of Development at Cermaq.
Data, digital technology and AI will also play a key role in the topics up for discussion, in the context of land-based RAS systems and ocean management. The summit will also consider solutions for smaller producers in countries where the aquaculture industry is fragmented and lacks infrastructure in production, monitoring and processing, as well as in sales and e-commerce solutions.
One of this year's hottest topics is the "seaweed revolution", with a special session devoted to the species, focusing on accelerating demand for seaweed as a blue food, challenges in production and distribution, and seaweed's potential as an ingredient for other industries.
Innovations in sustainable feed and animal welfare are also an important focus area this year, with participants from feed companies and protein technology firms, both large and small, in attendance. A session on novel ingredients will feature speakers from Nutreco, Innovafeed, and Nofima, among others, while a special roundtable discussion on sustainable aquafeed looks at the issue from the perspective of supply chains.
A clutch of investment companies specialising in aquaculture, seafood and fisheries innovation will be in attendance, and a range of featured start-ups will have the opportunity to present their projects. Notable speakers on the investment front include Aqua-Spark's Amy Novogratz, Ohad Maiman of Aquafounders Capital, and Chris Gorell Barnes of Ocean 14 Capital, among others.
An over-arching theme for the summit is how to raise the profile of blue food in international contexts of climate, sustainability and food security. This is the subject of the opening session, presented by Jim Leape of Stanford University.
Closing the summit is a plenary session on how the aquaculture industry is perceived by wider society. Panellists including Jennifer Bushman of Kvarøy Arctic and Chris Ninnes of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) will discuss how consumers and policymakers view the industry, and how this impacts on the sector's growth, as well as their views on how this should be addressed in future.
With the possibility of attending as either an in-person or virtual delegate, the summit organisers expect participation from a global audience, with participants registered from 36 countries around the world.