Issues that determine the future of world fishery and aquaculture and, among other things, the balance of interests of the countries in their competition for fishing resources will be discussed at the first Global Fishery Forum to be launched on 14 September in St. Petersburg.
It will be Russia’s first time to host professionals of the global fishing industry and related areas. Ilya Shestakov, Head of the Federal Agency for Fishery, spoke about the Forum at his press conference at TASS MIA on 17 August.
“We are talking not only showcasing achievements, and we do have things to show and things to see; we are talking about a communications platform where representatives of the world’s leading fishery countries will meet: members of executive authorities, business communities and sectoral associations”, Shestakov explained the Forum’s concept.
He noted that the fishing industry currently does not have such a platform. “There are events held specifically for businesses, there are events for government agencies, such as The North Atlantic Fisheries Ministers’ Conference; these platforms are arranged by convention region. On the whole, businesses and government officials virtually do not discuss global policies. There is also the UN’s FAO, but it conducts a more socially orientated and state-based dialogue”, Shestakov pointed out.
Plans for the Forum involve discussing the global communities’ key issues in developing fisheries. For instance, ensuring food security while simultaneously preserving the World Ocean’s biodiversity given today’s population and consumption growth. “The increasing competition for natural resources should also be taken into account. We need to find a balance of interests and answers to many global questions. This is why our Plenary session is called ‘A Global View of Fishing in the World Ocean: Cooperation or Competition?’” the head of Russia’s Agency for Fishery said about the Forum’s central event.
Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Arkady Dvorkovich, Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation Alexander Tkachev, Norway’s Minister of Fisheries Per Sandberg, Cyprus’s Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment Nicos Kouyialis, President of the Japan Fisheries Association Toshiro Shirasu, a representative of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean at FAO (UN), and other speakers will participate in the discussion.
Heads and representatives of sectoral agencies from such countries as the Faroe Islands, Australia, the US, China, Namibia, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone will also attend the Forum event. Delegations from Morocco, Senegal, South Africa, Mauritania, Argentina, Chile, South Korea, Iceland and Italy are also expected to attend.
In parallel with the Forum, St. Petersburg will host Seafood Expo, an exhibition of the fish industry, seafood and technologies presenting the products of Russian fishing companies and the capacities of Russia’s wharves and design institutes. Manufacturers of equipment for fish processing and for fishing vessels from around the world will exhibit their solutions. “Cutting-edge equipment and technologies will be in great demand for fulfilling the sectoral tasks of fleet renewal and of developing state-of-the-art fish processing, especially given the decisions on applying investment quotas”, Ilya Shestakov stressed.
German Zverev, President of the Russian National Association of Fisheries, Entrepreneurs, and Exporters (VARPE), member of the Organizing Committee, agreed that the Global Fishery Forum would be a communications platform for the most influential people in the global fishing industry. “In essence, this is the fishing industry’s ‘Davos’, where officials, business people and scientists from around the world will discuss the most topical and interesting trends in the global fishing industry in the same format as the discussions held at the World Economic Forum”, the head of the sectoral association explained.
The Forum’s programme includes a plenary session, six roundtables and a conference[T1] . German Zverev said that seven of the world’s top ten fishery countries and seven top aquaculture countries have already confirmed their participation. The Forum will be attended by members of the top management of FAO and the World Wildlife Foundation, as well as leaders of the iggest international associations.
“If we do the maths, we will see that delegations arriving in St Petersburg in September represent the countries that account for half the global aquatic bioresources capture and for 2/3 of the global aquaculture production”, VARPE’s President emphasised.