About 350 delegates are coming to Penang for the World Seafood Congress (WSC) 2019.
This will be the latest international-level conference, happening Sept 9 to 11, that the state will be hosting.
“Penang is a stunning Unesco World Heritage Site, famed for its living cultural heritage, existing in the midst of urban development.
It is a metropolitan city that is not short of natural treasures such as beach enclaves, virgin rainforests and beautiful hills,” the congress’ website, wsc2019.com, stated.
State tourism development committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said the congress was expected to bring more than RM2mil in revenue for Penang.
“Meetings like the WSC are important to host destinations as they can be significant economic contributors to the service industry.
“WSC participants can take part in optional study tours and visit Universiti Sains Malaysia’s (USM) Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies (Cemacs), or a half-day island tour to add value to their visit to Penang,” he said in a press conference.
The biennial WSC, initiated by Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, will be held at Setia SPICE Convention Centre.
Themed ‘Seafood Supply Chains of the Future. Innovation, Responsibility, Sustainability’, the congress will discuss global food security issues in relation to seafood production.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the congress was a platform for exchange of information, ideas and methodologies pertaining to the seafood sector.
“In 2017, Penang successfully won the bid to host it through Penang Institute in collaboration with USM as the scientific committee chair, Qube Integrated Malaysia as the exhibition partner and with the support of Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau (PCEB).
“Apart from modernising and diversifying sustainable agriculture, Penang should create a variety of quality tourism products to upgrade the economy and raise household income.
“The potential of a sustainable fishery industry should be able to contribute to this theme.
“Penang’s seafood sector, which includes marine capture fisheries, aquaculture and inland fisheries, produced 96,970.4 metric tonnes in 2017, valued at RM1.4bil.
“Penang is currently the third largest producer of aquaculture in the country after Sabah and Perak,” he said.
State agriculture and agro-based industries committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin said eleven matters would be discussed in WSC 2019.
They include food security, responsible seafood production, environmental concerns, aquaculture, multi-regional perspectives on delivering sustainable development goals, governance of fisheries, consumer protection and food safety, women in the seafood industry, digital globalisation of seafood industry, international trade and the future of the seafood industry.
”The major issues at the forefront of the agenda includes what Industry 4.0 means for the seafood sector.
“Penang has 59 aquaculturists working on 46.24ha of freshwater ponds and 127 aquaculturists with an area of 536.63ha of brackish water aquaculture ponds.
“Through this congress where academicians, policy makers and industry players meet, we hope to see more cross industry collaborations,” he added.
Also at the press conference were Penang Institute executive director Datuk Dr Ooi Kee Beng, PCEB chief executive officer Ashwin Gunasekaran, Qube business development director Datin Lorela Chia and Penang Fisheries Department assistant director Nabilah Mohamed Yusof.