FishWise Travels to Guangzhou China for the Annual GOAL Conference

Created on Thursday, 27 October 2016


In late September, Bill Wall travelled to Guangzhou, China to attend the 16th annual Global Outlook on Aquaculture Leadership (GOAL) conference organized by the Global Aquaculture Alliance. Held at the White Swan Hotel, on the banks of the mighty Pearl River, the conference was billed as an opportunity to learn, network and connect producers and suppliers to the marketplace and this year’s event was no exception.

So-called “Day 0” was focused on the ongoing importance of fish-meal and fish-oil to the aquaculture industry, and the quest for more responsible sources of both. Panelists discussed the potential of raw material certified by organizations like IFFO and MSC, as well as the growing number of FIPs tied to the production of these key marine ingredients. More novel sources of feed components such as processor by-products and terrestrial vegetables were also discussed. You can read GAA’s summary of the day here.

The theme for the first formal day of programming was “healthy fish” and highlighted the latest scientific findings, innovative technologies and tested solutions for maintaining animal health. This issue consistently ranks as the number one challenge facing those in the aquaculture industry and the packed auditorium and rapid notetaking was a testament to this fact. You can read GAA’s summary of the day here.

The second day of the conference centered around the topic of “healthy people” and moved beyond the well-known physical health benefits of seafood to tackle the larger, more recently exposed issue of social responsibility and human rights. Given the largeness and complexity of the topic, more questions were asked than answered on the day, but key takeaways around the need to map the true extent of the problem and envisaging what a seafood supply chain free of human rights and labor issues would look like hit home amongst all in attendance. You can read GAA’s summary of the day here.

“Healthy planet,” the theme for the final day of the conference, highlighted the importance of innovation, capital investment and overall collaboration in order satisfy the growing demand for protein worldwide while simultaneously limiting negative impacts on the environment. Special attention was also given to the need to manage and ideally reduce complexity, especially when it comes to certifications, to ensure that consumers aren’t turned off seafood altogether. You can read GAA’s summary of the day here.

The packed session schedule, not to mention the well-organized social events and site visits made for a fantastic week for those who attended. Bring on Dublin 2017!