Visiting the Seafood Expo in Brussels with our Technical Director, Neil Auchterlonie. Probably the biggest seafood trade show in the world, it has more than 1700 exhibitors from around 75 countries. The range of seafood is being offered phenomenal, although less and less is actually on display, it was always a struggle to maintain displays of fresh fish under the bright lights of the exhibition, only for them to be probably thrown away at the end of the show. There are some exceptions though, and I took this picture of a giant tuna on the Group Sagun stand.
It is now an opportunity to see people rather than fish, fish suppliers and buyers taking advantage of the concentration of business in one place. After arriving on the train from London, we headed straight to a briefing by the Global Aquaculture Association, learning about their new foundation offering online education and a drive to recruit individual members instead of just business members as in the past.
This is not really a show for marine ingredients companies or feed manufacturers but fish farmers are well represented. We stopped to talk to Scotland’s Loch Duart Salmon farming company, who have committed to using high marine ingredient diets to boost flavour, nutritional quality and fish health – we promised to keep in touch as their success is a great example of the benefits of retaining good levels of fishmeal and fish oil in feed, paying back the initial investment in feed cost with a higher value farmed fish.
Although some familiar names were exhibiting on the Peru and Chilean stands, they were staffed by sales teams offering human consumption products and none of our friends from the IFFO conferences were present. After three hours we had covered about one third of the exhibition before it was time to leave for a dinner appointment with Professor Ray Hilborn to discuss our support for several fishery science projects currently under way.
We have a full day tomorrow with a combination of meetings and walking the floor, a lot to see before we go home on Thursday.
Andrew Mallison, Director General