From left: GSA chief operating officer Brian Perkins, Scottish government minister Mairi Gougeon and Seafood Scotland boss Donna Fordyce in Barcelona. Photo: Seafood Scotland.

Scotland scores 2024 GOAL conference

Scotland will play host to the largest international seafood conference of its kind when the Global Seafood Alliance’s Conference, known as GOAL, takes place in autumn 2024, although the venue has not yet been decided.

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The Global Seafood Alliance (GSA) shared news of the bid win with Scottish Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon as she visited Scottish seafood producers on the Scotland Pavilion at Seafood Expo Global in Barcelona.

The responsible seafood conference, which has never been held in the UK before, will be co-hosted by Seafood Scotland and the GSA and will be attended by leaders from across the global seafood sector.

Delegate visits

The multi-day event will include a conference with international speakers focusing on production, sustainability, innovation and market trends, alongside delegate visits across Scotland to learn more about, and from, its seafood industry.

Gougeon said: “I am delighted that Scotland’s bid to host the prestigious Seafood Alliance Conference in 2024 has been successful and look forward to welcoming delegates from across the globe to this important event.

“Scotland’s seafood industry is a major success story, producing world-class, nutritious, low-carbon food that is enjoyed at home and abroad, with exports increasing by a £144 million compared to 2020 and contributing £1.3 billion to the Scottish economy annually in gross value added.

Resilient sector

“At the same time, our world-leading sustainable fisheries management plans demonstrate our commitment to supporting a resilient seafood sector which provides important employment opportunities across our coastal communities.

“I would like to congratulate everyone involved in bringing the conference to Scotland and ensuring we have the opportunity to showcase our products to a key audience and sharing our expertise with international industry leaders.”

The ideal location

Seafood Scotland chief executive Donna Fordyce said: “Scotland is one of the world’s most trusted seafood producing countries thanks to our investment in quality, innovation and sustainability.

“Whilst we’re a small nation, we produce over 60 species of seafood and export to over 120 countries globally. From Europe’s largest state-of-the-art fish-market to some of the most stunning sea loch farms and fishing grounds and world class venues, Scotland is the ideal location for GOAL.

“It is therefore hugely satisfying to see all this hard work being recognised by the Global Seafood Alliance in choosing Scotland as the location for its 2024 conference. Seafood Scotland and our partner organisations look forward to welcoming delegates from the global seafood sector in the autumn of 2024.”

Back to Europe

The bid to host the conference was put together by Seafood Scotland who will work with the Scottish Government and other industry bodies to deliver the event with the Global Seafood Alliance.

GSA chief operating officer Brian Perkins said: “We look forward to returning our signature GOAL conference to Europe for the first time since 2017.

“Scotland has a rich tradition in both aquaculture and wild-capture fisheries, and we see it as an ideal fit for GOAL 2024 given our organization’s growing involvement in wild-capture fisheries and rebrand from the Global Aquaculture Alliance to the Global Seafood Alliance in 2021.”

Previous hosts of GOAL include France, Chile and Dublin with this year’s event taking place in-person at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle, USA, from 3 to 5 October.