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Fishy Business: IPNLF at the world’s largest seafood trade show

Martin shares an update on IPNLF’s latest outreach and engagement activities – connecting one-by-one fisheries with the global market
Outside the expo: Juliette, Ingrid and Martin

On the IPNLF calendar, the Seafood Expo Global in Brussels is circled, highlighted and underlined. As the world’s largest seafood trade fair, it is an unmissable event and this year I was joined by my IPNLF colleagues Ingrid and Juliette, and over 22,000 seafood stakeholders for three busy, networking-rich days.

On the day before the Expo, which ran from 25-27 April, Ingrid, IPNLF’s Market Outreach Director, got the opportunity to talk tuna with the delegates of the European Tuna Conference. Joining a panel discussion with Pew, Greenpeace and WWF, Ingrid discussed how small-scale one-by-one tuna fisheries have the potential to be big business - identifying elements of tried and tested business models that small-scale fisheries could incorporate to help them expand and grow. The key takeaway was that the growing global demand for one-by-one tuna could be met with the collaborative support from the industry.

The next day we hit the show. For IPNLF, collaboration is essential to advance our mission and vision and this colossal event provides us with an excellent opportunity to meet with our wide-reaching network under one roof. Taking advantage of this opportunity, we hosted both a Members’ meeting and a networking reception. At our Members meeting we were joined by Sainsbury’s, Migros, Fish Tales, New England Seafood International, Green World Company, World Wise Foods, Horizon Fisheries and the Indonesian delegation. Over teas and coffees, we delivered an update on IPNLF projects and activities and discussed progress in Indonesia’s Fishery Improvement Project (FIP). It was a good opportunity for all to share perspectives and experiences with a group of like-minded industry stakeholders as well as launch IPNLF’s new Annual Report.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF), Asosiasi Perikanan Pole & Line dan Handline (AP2HI) and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), IPNLF hosted a drinks and canapés networking reception at the Indonesian pavilion to discuss the achievements and opportunities of Indonesia’s coastal tuna fisheries.  The Director General for Product Competitiveness at MMAF, Mr Nilanto Perbowo, opened proceedings and assured attendees of the full support of the government in improving the sustainability credentials of Indonesia’s one-by-one tuna fisheries and helping these fisheries access lucrative markets. Shinta Yuniarta of AP2HI and Tom Pickerell, the Global Tuna Director at Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) elaborated on their priorities and their roles in supporting the pole-and-line and handline FIP. I closed proceedings by emphasising the importance of our partnership with these organisations and the Indonesian government and how this is key to achieving success with our in-country work programme. Together, we are working to strengthen management systems, grow market interest and increase demand to provide multifaceted benefits to the wellbeing of coastal communities, both economical and social, as well as ensure the longevity of the marine environment. 

Alongside these focal outreach events we had the opportunity to meet with our Members as well as new and existing partners to strengthen collaboration with like-minded seafood stakeholders working to improve the landscape for one-by-one tuna fisheries. We are delighted to work with such a strong network of passionate organisations and individuals who want to see these coastal fisheries thrive.