Scotland to play host to international seafood conference

SCOTLAND is set to play host to the largest international seafood conference of its kind in 2024, after their bid was accepted today.

The Global Seafood Alliance’s Conference, known as GOAL, will visit Scotland in autumn of 2024, having never been held in the UK before.

The Global Seafood Alliance (GSA) shared news of the bid win today with Mairi Gougeon, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, as she visited Scottish seafood producers on the Scottish Pavilion at Seafood Expo Global in Barcelona.

The responsible seafood conference will be co-hosted by Seafood Scotland and the GSA and will be attended by leaders from across the global seafood sector, putting a spotlight on Scotland’s largest food export.

(L-R) Global Seafood Alliance COO Brian Perkins, Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon and Seafood Scotland CEO Donna Fordyce.

The multi-day event will include a conference with international speakers focusing on production, sustainability, innovation and market trends.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “I am delighted that Scotland’s bid to host the prestigious Seafood Alliance Conference in 2024 has been successful and look forward to welcoming delegates from across the globe to this important event.

“Scotland’s seafood industry is a major success story, producing world-class, nutritious, low-carbon food that is enjoyed at home and abroad, with exports increasing by a £144m compared to 2020 and contributing £1.3bn to the Scottish economy annually.

“At the same time, our sustainable fisheries management plans demonstrate our commitment to supporting a resilient seafood sector which provides important employment opportunities across our coastal communities.

“I would like to congratulate everyone involved in bringing the conference to Scotland and ensuring we have the opportunity to showcase our products to a key audience and sharing our expertise with international industry leaders.”

Donna Fordyce, Chief Executive of Seafood Scotland said: “Scotland is one of the world’s most trusted seafood producing countries thanks to our investment in quality, innovation and sustainability.

“Whilst we’re a small nation, we produce over 60 species of seafood and export to over 120 countries globally.

“From Europe’s largest state-of-the-art fish-market to some of the most stunning sea loch farms and fishing grounds and world class venues, Scotland is the ideal location for GOAL.

“It is therefore hugely satisfying to see all this hard work being recognised by the GSA in choosing Scotland as the location for its 2024 conference.

“Seafood Scotland and our partner organisations look forward to welcoming delegates from the global seafood sector in the autumn of 2024.”

The bid to host the conference was put together by Seafood Scotland, who will work with the Scottish Government and other industry bodies to deliver the event with the GSA.

GSA’s COO Brian Perkins said: “We look forward to returning our signature GOAL conference to Europe for the first time since 2017.

“Scotland has a rich tradition in both aquaculture and wild-capture fisheries, and we see it as an ideal fit for GOAL given our organization’s growing involvement in wild-capture fisheries and rebrand from the Global Aquaculture Alliance to the GSA in 2021.

“Thank you to Scotland’s thriving seafood sector and the Scottish government for embracing us and agreeing to host GOAL 2024.”

The GSA is an international nongovernmental organisation focusing on advancing responsible seafood practices through education, advocacy and third-party assurances.

Previous hosts of GOAL include France, Chile and Dublin with this year’s event taking place in-person at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle, USA, from 3rd to 5th October.

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