The theme of this year’s congress is ‘Upskilling for a Sustainable Future’ and will be held at the Grimsby Institute 5-9 September. This will be the first time the biennial congress has been hosted on UK soil, following residencies in Canada, Australia and Morocco.
Over the course of the four days, the congress will welcome 46 speakers from its host nation, while the rest of the programme has been filled by speakers spanning five of the world’s seven continents. Three of the speakers will be making a momentous 15,196 km journey from Australia to address the delegates.
This global presence is reinforced in the congress’ selection of keynote speakers, who represent the world’s leading industry bodies, academic intuitions and NGOs.
Dr Lahsen Ababouch, director at the Food and Agriculture Organisation and Steffen Kaeser from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation in Vienna will speak on the first day of the congress, delving in to the congress’ main theme.
They will be joined on day two by UK-based Geoff Ogle, director at the Food Standards Agency for Scotland, and Carl O’Brien, Defra’s chief fisheries science adviser, who will discuss the food safety challenges facing the sector and the state of the North-East Atlantic seafood stocks respectively.
Also speaking is Stephen Hall of the World Fish Centre, and Brussel-based Stelios Mitolidis, deputy head of the IUU Unit at the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
The closing day of the congress will feature a talk from Liv Homefjord, director of Fisheries in Norway, while Chris Grieve, executive director at Meridian Prime, will round-off the keynote speaker programme with a discussion centred on the congress’ sustainability theme.
Internationally-renowned explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, will also add to the list, joining as a guest speaker at the congress’ gala dinner.
Paul Williams, chief executive at Seafish, the industry authority hosting this year’s congress said: “The commercial success of the fishing industry relies upon effective export and trade relationships between different nations.
“The breath of countries represented in our speaker programme will allow delegates to hear a varied range of outlooks from each nation, and open up a global conversation about how we can use this shared knowledge to build a strong future for our industry.
“Not only is the WSC an important commercial arena for the global community it’s also a key platform for discussion around the critical ecological and sustainability issues that affect the global supply chain, regardless of geographical location.”