The Global Seafood Alliance’s first-ever GOAL conference in the United Kingdom will be held in Scotland in 2024, the organization revealed to Scotland Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon.
The conference takes place each year and hosts hundreds of attendees at a series of events centered on the seafood industry. This year’s conference, running from 3 to 5 October, was moved from Tokyo, Japan to Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. due to pandemic-associated travel restrictions.
The multi-day event in 2024 will be co-hosted by Seafood Scotland, an organization that works to promote Scottish seafood in the global market.
“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,” Gougeon said in a release.
Scotland’s seafood exports contributed GBP 1.3 billion (USD 1.6 billion, EUR 1.5 billion) in 2021, with exports increasing by GBP 144 million (USD 181 million, EUR 171 million) in 2021 compared to 2020.
The country was selected thanks to the work of Seafood Scotland, which put together the hosting proposal, according to Seafood Scotland Executive Donna Fordyce.
“We’d been working with the Global Seafood Alliance for a number of months now, and we put a proposition together,” Fordyce told SeafoodSource during Seafood Expo Global in Barcelona, Spain. “We’ve got a really strong message, we have so many different species.”
The conference, she said, represents a chance for the industry to showcase some of the more than 60 seafood species it harvests and raises sustainably for export to over 120 countries across the world.
“We’re really passionate about bringing people to see us, but we’re also really passionate about wanting to learn from others,” Fordyce said. “I think the thought leadership that is going to come is really going to benefit everyone, all attendees.”
The conference will also represent the first time that GOAL has been in Europe since 2017, when it took place in Dublin, Ireland. Scotland represents a confluence of aquaculture and wild-capture fisheries – which the organization recently began putting a greater focus on, GSA CEO Brian Perkins said.
“Scotland has a rich tradition in both aquaculture and wild-capture fisheries, and we see it as an ideal fit for GOAL 2024 given our organization’s growing involvement in wild-capture fisheries and rebrand from the Global Aquaculture Alliance to the Global Seafood Alliance in 2021,” Perkins said. “Thank you to Scotland’s thriving seafood sector and the Scottish government for embracing us and agreeing to host GOAL 2024.”
Photo courtesy of Seafood Scotland