On 1 August 2019, the Chief Minister of Penang, Right Honourable Chow Kon Yeow with Penang State Executive Councillors Honourable Yeoh Soon Hin and Honourable Dr Afif bin Bahardin were present at Level 28, Komtar for a press conference on the World Seafood Congress 2019, which will be held between 9-11 September in Penang for the very first time. Also present at the press conference was the local host of the congress Penang Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia (scientific committee chair) and Qube (exhibition partner) as well as Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau (PCEB). The theme of this year’s congress is “Seafood Supply Chains of the Future. Innovation – Responsibility – Sustainability”.
In Penang, the state has shown tremendous results in the fishery industry. For instance, in year 2017, the food fish production in Penang reached the third highest wholesale value in the country after Perak and Kedah. The food fish sector, which include marine capture fisheries, aquaculture and inland fisheries, has produced 96,970.4 metric tonnes of produce, which is valued at RM1.4 billion. Penang is currently the third largest producer of aquaculture in the country, after Sabah and Perak.
It is undeniable that seafood is a big industry that must be kept as sustainable as possible. Excesses, carelessness and short-sightedness must be curbed if we are to avoid detrimental conditions such as overfishing and resource depletion, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, concerns about food safety, inadequate regulation and oversight across the value chain, and unintended consequences of bycatch.
Therefore, to realise the Penang2030 vision’s strategic initiative B2, to modernise and diversify sustainable agriculture is not impossible. Through this World Seafood Congress where academicians, policy makers and industry players meet, and through the exhibition that is running alongside the congress, there is hope to see more cross industry collaborations to be realised.
On the same note, the 2019 International Association of Fish Inspectors’ Peter Howgate Award – a tribute to the late Peter Howgate's work and career – was awarded to Ms Stella Mbabazi, a five-year serving inspector with the Department of Fisheries Resources based in Uganda, and Mr Justin Sundarrajan, a Quality Control Manager in a plant in India producing pasteurised frozen crab for the US market.
Both candidates are being supported with airfare, accommodation and conference fee, to attend the World Seafood Congress 2019 in Penang, Malaysia from 9 to 11 September 2019, hosted by the Penang Institute, where they will learn the latest trends in fish technology, and meet with scientists, NGOs, other competent authorities and fishery business operators from all over the world.
The congress is a ticketed event while the exhibition is open for public. If you are interested to attend the conference and participate in the discussion of the issue raised in Seafood Supply Chains of the Future, please register here: wsc2019.com/registration