Oslo ‘Seafood Summit’ attracts international industry chiefs – Fishupdate.com

Oslo ‘Seafood Summit’ attracts international industry chiefs Published:  16 February, 2006

THE inaugural ‘North Atlantic Seafood Week’, taking place at the Lillestrom Exhibition Centre in Oslo this week, has attracted 430 delegates from 24 countries.

The event – which features a conference, trade fair and study tours – is focusing on high value, coldwater seafood from the huge fishery zone extending from Canada and the USA, via Iceland and Faroe, to Scandinavia.

What may be the largest group of seafood company CEO’s ever assembled, discussed their individual experiences, plans and forecasts for the industry of which they are custodians.

The conference was opened by Norway’s Fisheries Minister, Helga Pedersen, and the North Atlantic theme was underscored by an address by her Icelandic counterpart, Einar Gudfinsson. The ‘Captains of Industry’ who followed them came from Iceland, Norway, the Netherlands and Germany.

One by one, some of the most influential people in the world of international seafood took the platform. Delegates listened to the CEO’s of Aker Seafoods, Fjord Seafood, Pan Fish, Leroy, Ewos, Grandi, Faroes United, Icelandic Group, Deutsche See, Youngs Bluecrest, Marine Harvest, Murmansk Trawler Fleet, Cermaq, Domstein and Marine Farms. With seafood and the financial sector working closely together, it was no surprise that Landsbanki, Nordea and ABG Sundal Collier were key partners in this enterprise.

Norway Trade Fairs Director Einar Kvalheim said: “We set out to create something new – more than a conference, more than a trade fair. A forum where people in seafood can interact and do business in a civilised, unstressed atmosphere. That is exactly what people are telling me we have achieved, and I am delighted.”

The surprising number of countries represented at the first North Atlantic Seafood Conference was a reflection of the importance of the world’s most productive and valuable fishery. Delegates attended from as far away as Singapore, Hong Kong, Tunisia, the USA, Canada and Chile, with a strong Russian presence heralding the event’s future as a key meeting point for East and West in the seafood market.

As the trade fair close its doors, the third element of Norway’s ‘Total Seafood Week’ begins, as over a hundred seafood professionals depart on a series of specially organised study tours to Norway’s fisheries. One group is heading up to Tromso and Lofoten, where the cod fishery is in full swing – and where a team from Grimsby will take the chance to renew a historic link with its ‘twin town’, Tromso. Another will go to Alesund at the heart of the pelagic fishery, while the third, to Bergen, will look at the latest advances in aquaculture.

With all three tours sold out, Event Director Jorgen Lund said: “We are taking people from 20 countries on what will be the trip of a lifetime. Norway is proud of its fisheries, and some of the country’s top processors are opening their doors to our visitors.”

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