The 15th INFOFISH World Tuna Trade Conference & Exhibition ended on a high note on the 30th of May, thanks to the magnificent support from participants (almost 600 representing all regions), exhibitors, world-class speakers, collaborating partners and sponsors.
In bringing the World Tuna Trade Conference to a close, the Conference Chair Dr Transform Aqorau summarized the deliberations and themes that had been brought to the fore over the past three days. Underpinning all the discussions, he said, was the key concept of sustainability both above and below the water level. Innovation was another main idea that had cropped up over and over again, including innovation in markets, products, and harvesting. The development of partnerships was the third main pillar that has emerged in the Conference and in the next 5 to 10 years, these partnerships will affect a change in behaviour.
He talked about the changes in market and consumer trends worldwide. One possible gap that he thought could be addressed in the next Conference in 2020 is the position of China as a huge potential market. He predicted that if the Chinese were to start eating tuna in a big way, the landscape could be different in the future. Social responsibility, gender, human rights abuses are other concepts which we have to keep discussing. Dr Aqorau also asked the question: What are the drivers of technology? Blockchain technology, for instance, is fairly new and likely to occupy an expanding place in the industry in the future. For the moment, the business sector is making great strides in innovation but this has to be combined in partnership with governments.
On a final note, Ms Shirlene Maria Anthonysamy, Acting Director of INFOFISH, took the opportunity to express sincere thanks to the participants, speakers, and chairpersons for making the Conference a truly world-class event, as evidenced by the quality of discussion observed and information shared, as well as the level of networking and business matching that had occurred. She also thanked the co-organisers and collaborating organisations Department of Fisheries Thailand, Thai Tuna Industry Association (TTIA), IATTC, IOTC, WCPFC, FAO, ANFACO, INFOPESCA, INFOPECHE, INFOSAMAK, INFOYU, EUROFISH; ATUNA; UndercurrentNews, Intrafish , Platinum Sponsor MIFCO (Maldives) and the staff of INFOFISH.