The INFOFISH tuna conference is one of the biggest international events for the global tuna industry. Held every two years the event brings together representatives from the industry, researchers, NGOs, fisheries management bodies, and other stakeholders to discuss developments in the sector and outline the direction it will take in the future. The pandemic forced the postponement by a year of the 2020 event as borders closed and lockdowns went into effect. In 2021, taking into account the prevailing uncertainty with regard to international travel, the organisers of the event have decided to take it online. Tuna 2021 World Tuna Conference and Exhibition will take place virtually 19-21 May and will include the conference as well an exhibition where companies can showcase their products and services using an interactive online platform.
The conference theme, The global tuna industry: Trailblazing through tough times, will address a range of topics of relevance to the global and regional tuna industries including e-commerce and logistics; processing and packaging technology; e-monitoring and surveillance; and sustainability and social accountability. The industry faces trends such as the growing popularity of plant-based alternatives and consumer concerns about fish stocks that promise to have a significant impact on the seafood market in time. Last year, for example, a multinational consumer goods manufacturer launched a plant-based alternative to tuna. The three-day event is divided into six sessions. A session on the impact of the pandemic and of trade wars will be followed by others on sustainability and social accountability, on retail, e-commerce, and logistics, and on technology. The last day will be dedicated to sustainable resource management and certification. Sessions will be moderated and will conclude with speakers fielding questions from the audience.
INFOFISH has gathered vast experience holding online events over the past fourteen months and together with its partners has customised the event programme and content to suit the virtual format. Participants can register at tuna2021.vfairs.com and regular updates will be posted on infofish.org.
The Jabuka pit, an area of some 3,000 square km located in the Adriatic between Italian Pescara and Croatian Split, is an important spawning ground for hake and Norway lobster. For years, however, it has been a favoured area for commercial fishers targeting these two species, reports Euronews. Studies conducted under the AdriaMed project showed that the bottom trawls used also caught large numbers of juveniles and undersized hake. Between 2011 and 2014 prohibitions on fishing in the most vulnerable areas were largely ignored. Finally, in 2017 the GFCM adopted an EU proposal to establish a fishing restricted area (FRA) covering at least 2,700 sq. km in the Jabuka Pit, which came into force in 2018. Under the proposal the area is divided into three zones with different degrees of restrictions. The restrictions are enforced by fisheries inspectors who conduct routine checks on trawlers fishing in the small area where they are permitted to operate. Inspections can include measuring random samples from the caught, checking logbooks, and the vessel’s papers. Vessels are also tracked from land using vessel monitoring systems and from the air using drones. The data from all these sources can be combined electronically by a system which will then issue a warning if anything is amiss.
The new EMODnet Geology shoreline-migration map, freely accessible from the EMODnet Geology portal (emodnet-geology.eu), allows policy makers, together with national and regional coastal managers, to determine large-scale coastal behaviour and identify areas of rapid change. It is based on field measurements and aerial photography and covers time periods up to decades. The map is particularly valuable for cliffs, which are prevalent along European coastlines, particularly since state-of-the-art satellite-monitoring methods are not yet suitable for imaging erosion of non-sandy types of coastline. This important data product allows users to visualise pan-European coastal behaviour at different spatial scales. A built-in search and zoom functionality enables online users to distinguish areas of landward migration (erosion or submergence), stability, and seaward migration (accretion or emergence). The underlying downloadable dataset offers additional information on measured or derived annual migration rates. The map also provides the public with useful insights into one of Europe’s most obvious climate-change effects: loss of land through coastal erosion. Most importantly, field and satellite data can now be compared on a pan-European scale, highlighting common spatial patterns as well as prominent discrepancies that require further work to optimise and align the respective methodologies.
A Danish company has developed a system based on analysing data collected from 12 locations on a fish farm to improve water quality and fish welfare while reducing costs. Blue Unit, a company founded by David Owen, a biologist, in 2009, was established to optimise the operations of recirculation aquaculture systems by exploiting the data available from the RAS. A centralised monitoring system collects data on 13 water quality parameters, including pH, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, opacity, and salinity, that are monitored by specially designed sensors and compares the numbers with benchmark values from producers around the world.
A new book from the Turkish Marine Research Foundation celebrates the country’s aquaculture industry, the third largest by volume in Europe after Norway and Spain. The book, Marine Aquaculture in Turkey: Advancements and Management, is a collection of papers written by academics, resource managers, and representatives from industry. Edited by M. Didem Demircan and Deniz D. Tosun from Istanbul University, and Deniz Coban from Aydin Adnan Menderes University, the papers cover all aspects of the aquaculture industry from production to the sector’s effects on the environment and on occupational health. Production Is fully integrated starting from broodstock and ending in a range of products for the market. Seabass, seabream, and rainbow trout farmed inland are the most cultivated species, but smaller volumes of several other species are also produced.
The sector boasts 20 hatcheries, 23 feed plants, and over 200 processing facilities, and it maintains close links with the research establishment based in universities and institutes as well as with the government. Turkish legislation is harmonised with EU directives and regulations enabling the country to export some four fifths of its production to the EU. In 2023 the target is to produce 600,000 tonnes (up from 373,000 tonnes in 2019) and to export USD2bn (up from USD1bn in 2019) worth of fish and seafood products.
Newlyn, Cornwall’s biggest fish market, attracts some 1,000 tonnes of megrim, a flat fish, annually, reports the BBC, almost all of which is exported mostly to Spain. However, more bureaucracy for British traders and the introduction of border controls since Brexit have disrupted exports of fish to the continent including that of megrim. As a result, the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation (CFPO), in a bid to encourage British consumers to eat more megrim, is planning to rebrand the fish to Cornish sole. Another species, spider crab, that faces the same challenges, will be renamed Cornish king crab. The decision to rename the products was taken after consulting with chefs and consumers.
Sabine Wedell, project manager of the fish international trade show, is organising Digital Seafood Meeting, an online event to be held on Wednesday, 21 April 2021. Together with Monika Pain, project manager of Polfish in Gdansk, and Selin Akdogan, project manager of Future Fish Eurasia in Izmir, Ms Wedell will present the virtual event, where discussions on futuristic topics such as petri dish seafood will be combined with matchmaking sessions. Whether buyers, product developers or sales managers the Digital Seafood Meeting will give partners and customers the chance to meet one on one. The accompanying programme of talks will be spread over three themes: out-of-house sales, product launches in the retail trade, and innovations. The focus of the first will be mass catering where questions such as how the pandemic has changed this market and what comes next, will be debated. In the retail product launch theme discussions will relate to recent developments on the market, new products on offer, and the extent of their retail success.
Aina Afanasjeva, Director, EUROFISH International Organisation, passed away on Sunday, 14 March 2021, in Riga, Latvia following a long struggle with illness. Aina, who turned 60 on 10 January this year, is survived by her husband, daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren.
She led the organisation for 12 years steering it through the aftermath of the financial and economic crisis of 2008 with a steady hand and working closely with the EUROFISH Governing Council to ensure the continuation of EUROFISH services to its member countries. Hungary, a country with an important inland aquaculture sector, joined the organisation on her watch, and Aina played a crucial role in expanding the EUROFISH project portfolio with multilaterally and bilaterally funded projects. She had a vast network of colleagues, partners, and friends not only across Europe, but in countries around the world, and the messages of condolence that have been ticking in steadily testify to the deep affection and respect she inspired.
Lea Wermelin, Denmark’s 35-year-old minister of the environment, has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum joining a who’s who of political, academic, and business achievers that includes Emmanuel Macron and Mark Zuckerberg. This year over 100 people from 56 countries were cited for the accolade. The awardees are part of a network, the Forum of Young Global Leaders, that uses its members’ talents, energy, and influence to create a more sustainable future for the planet. Nominees must be under 40 with several solid achievements behind them and must be committed to improving society both locally and across the globe. Ms Wermelin is not the first female, Danish environmental minister to receive the title, that honour goes to Ida Auken who won it in 2013.