The final version of the has been approved and published. The main theme of GFF 2019 and plenary session is «Ocean of Opportunities: Nature, Economy, and People», Ilya Shestakov, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Russia and Head of the Federal Agency for Fisheries, said at a TASS News Agency news conference on 28 June. German Zverev, Chairman of the Public Council of the Federal Agency for Fisheries and President of the All-Russia Association of Fisheries Enterprises, also took part in the news conference.
This will be the third time that the Forum is held in St. Petersburg. Over this period, it has established itself as a unique discussion platform that promotes development of interstate cooperation at the level of the business and academic communities, and government authorities, while also fostering solutions for further use of the World Ocean resources.
«The growing authority of the Forum and Exhibition in Russia is important. We hope that we will soon be among the biggest Seafood Expo events, which are held every year in Brussels, Qingdao and Boston. At the same time, our event has the advantage of being unique in also including a business forum. Indeed, preliminary figures and feedback confirm that this format is in demand as the number of foreign exhibitors is growing, new delegations are arriving and joint stands of foreign countries and Russian regions are rising in number,» Ilya Shestakov said.
The participants will discuss the economic and social development of territories in the context of the environmental approach to managing fish stocks. Ministers of fishing powers, heads of regional fishery organizations (NPAFC, ICES, NEAFC, CCAMLR), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), representatives of government agencies, leading transnational and Russian companies in the fishing sector and related industries, eminent scientists, and experts in the field of marketing and consulting will make presentations at the plenary session and key events of the Forum.
The first roundtable will be dedicated to digitalization of the fishing industry. It will focus on opportunities for improving efficiency of production, control and reporting through introduction of IT technologies, as well as the practice of other countries, including as a tool for combating IUU fishing.
The importance of fishing industry marketing will be addressed at the roundtable «How to Sell Fish Properly». It is planned to reveal the conceptual aspects of shaping a fish consumption culture and to consider tools for boosting demand based on other countries experience in product promotion and successful enterprise examples.
Special attention will be paid to research and development of the Arctic and Antarctica. With the growing consumption of fish, the untapped potential of these water areas may provide an additional catch volume. Issues of scientifically grounded and rational use of Arctic and Antarctic stocks will be the subject of another roundtable.
A lively discussion is expected at the conference «Cost of the Fishing Industry: How to Assess the Efficiency of the Business Use of the National Resource?» Russia is among the top five leaders in industrial fishing. Our country has one of the most effective systems of fishery regulation, foreign experts say. Even so, the capitalization of the Russian fishing industry does not correspond to this level. The Undercurrent news agency has been compiling a list of the biggest fishing corporations by revenue for several years. The agency estimates that only one Russian fishing company has made it into the top hundred players on the global fish market. The participants will try to understand why and forecast how the situation will develop.
«The Global Fishery Forum is always a way to look to the future. This year, at the conference to be held as part of the Forum, we will, as always, present our forecast of the key annual financial indicators and explain our estimate of the industrys profitability: approximately RUB 360-365 bn, a profit growth of about 5% over 2018. We will try to answer how much the Russian fishing industry costs. I am sure that the Forum events will be full of a lot of interesting information. The Forum will take place just before our main professional holiday Fishermans Day. This will add warmth and sincerity to the discussions and behind-the-scenes communication between all the participants,» German Zverev noted.
The specifics of the fishing business, risk levelling, and issues of creating an effective distribution chain will be at the centre of the roundtable discussion «Fish Market Economics: Fishing, Processing, Logistics, and Retail».
One of the Forums most pressing topics is the social sphere, which will be addressed at the roundtable «Fisheries: Social Dimension as a Factor for the Development of Territories». According to FAO official statistics, about 60 million people are employed in the primary sector of industrial fishing and aquaculture (permanent, temporary and odd jobs), including 19.3 million in aquaculture and 40.3 million in fisheries. The participants will discuss whether fish-based single-industry towns are capable of developing and what is required for creating a complete social infrastructure in hard-to-reach regions and improving the working and living conditions of fishermen. A logical continuation of this topic will be the signing of a trilateral sectoral agreement on the sidelines of the Forum: the agreement is between the Federal Agency for Fisheries, the All-Russia Association of Employers in the Fishing Industry and Central Committee of the Russian Trades Union of Fisheries Workers. The document addresses issues related to social and labour relations and wages, vocational education, occupational health protection and promotion of employment. The mechanisms for its implementation will be discussed at the roundtable, too.
The programme also includes the topic of fish farming. It is the aquaculture sector that has been responsible for the growth of world fish production in recent decades. According to the FAO, aquaculture is part of the economy in more than 200 countries and territories today. In 2016, world aquaculture generated 80 million tonnes of food fish and 30.1 million tonnes of aquatic plants. It produced 54.1 million tonnes of fish, 17.1 million tonnes of shellfish, 7.9 million tonnes of crustaceans and 938,000 tonnes of other aquatic organisms. China is the worlds leading aquaculture producer, not only outperforming other countries, but also growing more fish than the rest of the world since 1991. The biggest producers also include Bangladesh, Vietnam, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Norway. In Russia, the share of fish farming is still insignificant compared to the volume of industrial fishing: more than 230,000 tonnes have been produced with a catch level of 5.05 million tonnes. The ways to develop this sector of the fish industry in the global and regional context will be discussed at the roundtable «Unlocking the Potential of Aquaculture in Russia and the World: Management, Resources, Markets».
A separate major block will be devoted to scientific matters. On the second day of the Forum, a roundtable will be held on new ideas and trends in the field of science, on which the dynamic development of fisheries depends. In addition, Russian scholars will speak about research programmes and the prospects for development of Arctic and Antarctic resources, developments in aquaculture, and application of new digital technologies in research work as part of other business programme events.
The 2019 International Exhibition of Fish Industry, Seafood and Technology is also expected to see an increase in all indicators. According to preliminary data, 335 companies from 30 regions of Russia and 25 countries will take part in the Exhibition, which is 34% more than last year. The number of Russian exhibitors climbed 28% to 182 companies and the number of foreign exhibitors jumped 42% to 150 companies.
The III Global Fishery Forum and International Exhibition of Fish Industry, Seafood and Technology (Seafood Expo Russia) will be held from 10 to 12 July 2019 in St. Petersburg, at the ExproForum Convention and Exhibition Centre. The organizer is the Federal Agency for Fisheries, the Forums Operator is the Roscongress Foundation.