Day 2 - Global Fishery Forum, St Petersburg, Russia
The second day followed a similar pattern to Day 1, with a plenary session in the morning on the development strategy for the Russian fishing industry - an impressive plan of investment, fleet renewal and commitment to scientific management of the stocks. The afternoon was a selection of break out session - I was speaking on behalf of the IFFO RS team on a panel covering Certification, alongside speakers from MSC, WW and the Global Seafood Sustainability Index. Ecolabelling iis a fairly recent introduction to the Russian market and the session gave an opportunity for Russian seafood companies to hear what makes a standard credible. Comments from the floor raised questions about the understanding of ecolabels by consumers, some thinking they were quality related as well as indicators of sustainability.
Although not a speaker, I also attended another session on Food Loss and Waste, having the opportunity to speak from the floor on the importance of good infrastructure to make the most of by-products that are valuable raw material for fishmeal and fish oil production.
The day closed with a reception hosted by the Russian Fishery Federation and I was left with the impression of an industry wanting to become a bigger part of the global seafood market, prepared to invest and drive sustainability standards for the future. Initial indications are that this event will be held again next year and it will be interesting to see what progress the Russian industry makes.