Sunday, October 1, 2017

02/10/2017: Seas are changing for the future of the Australian seafood industry

The future of the seafood industry is looking strong after representatives from all sectors across Australia and abroad came together at Sydney’s International Conference Centre for Seafood Directions 2017 from September 27th – 29th

The two-day conference saw over 350 delegates from seafood supply, retail, aquaculturists, scientists, post-harvest, equipment suppliers, wholesalers, distributors, processors and food service companies explore concepts around the theme “Sea the Future” and be introduced to ground-breaking new technology, research and ideas.
Bryan Skepper, chair of New South Wales Seafood Industry Council said, “From the discussions that took place at this year’s conference, we’ll now develop strategies that will help steer the future of the industry to one that is respected, prosperous and dynamic.”

In a conference stream on markets and export opportunities, Margy Osmond, chief executive officer of Tourism & Transport Forum Australia urged the industry to recognise the potential of tourism for seafood businesses and to utilise the power of promoting Australian seafood to international tourists.

For the first time at Seafood Directions, aquaculture had a dedicated stream which was opened with a keynote by Thibault Giulioli, chief executive officer of Indian Ocean Trepang (IOT) who addressed the audience on how IOT is transforming coastal communities in Madagascar for the better by teaching them Sea Cucumber farming techniques.

Disruption, country of origin labelling, innovation and connecting communities with seafood were topics that were discussed frequently throughout the two days, providing insight to the challenges and accomplishments of the various industry sectors.

The final session included a panel discussion on how the seafood industry will create its preferred future through peer encouragement, healthy competition, improving safety, preparing for the future and disrupting from within.

Patrick Hone, executive director of Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, delivered the conference wrap-up featuring a series of challenges for industry to accomplish by Seafood Directions 2019.

The challenges included delving into what the consumer wants, being transparent, improving industry safety and mental health, nurturing diversity and ensuring indigenous representation at all levels of industry.

Hone also stressed the importance of gaining momentum for the newly established peak body Seafood Industry Australia and retaining funding for OceanWatch Australia to continue its work as the country’s only marine National Resource Management (NRM).

The conference concluded with the passing of the baton for Seafood Directions 2019 to Seafood Industry Victoria.

Visit the Seafood Directions 2017 website, HERE.

The Aquaculturists
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