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Weekly Overview: 2015 World Seafood Congress Overview

Lucy Towers
15 September 2015, at 1:00am

ANALYSIS - Last week, TheFishSite was in Grimsby, UK for the World Seafood Congress. People from all over the world gathered in talks and workshops over the three days relating to this year's theme - 'upskilling for a sustainable future'.

After increasing reports have surfaced around the world of illegal labour and the mistreatment of workers in the seafood sector one of the most important topics discussed at the congress was ethics in the seafood supply chain.

Seafish's Libby Woodhatch and Tom Pickerell, explained how the Seafish Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS), which is aimed at B2B, is the only standard to audit compliance of fishing vessels to health, safety and welfare.  

A new report, produced by ethics consultant Roger Plant for Seafish, was also revealed at the congress.

The report, 'Ethical issues impacting on the UK seafood supply chain’, looked at 15 regions supplying the UK market and focused on social issues surrounding human rights and the labour rights of fishermen.

Another key theme this year was seafood safety. Although the seafood industry was not involved directly in the UK horse meat scandal in 2013, the investigation revealed the food safety challenges that the industry faces and the need to tighten the supply chain.

Mike Mitchell, Young's Seafood, outlined the company's new, industry-leading business intelligence tools characterize food integrity risk in specific upstream scenarios.

He highlighted these decision tree models, along with the methodologies used by the company to handle product screening, help to ensure that the quality, specification, provenance and legality of the fish brought to market meets the company's high standards.

Consultant, Michael Walker also discussed the 'Eight Pillars' of improvement which came out of the review into the horse meat scandal.

For more show coverage, click here.