GEORGE TOWN: Penang has been selected as the first Asian destination to host the World Seafood Congress to be held in September 2019.
The decision was announced by International Association of Fish Inspectors (IAFI) president Carey Bonnell during the congress’ 2017 edition in Reykjavik, Iceland, from Sept 10 to 13.
The team that sold Penang as the next hub for the event was led by state agency Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) and Penang Institute, the state’s think tank and policy analyst, which will be the local organising host.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state’s support for the congress was RM500,000, whereas the estimated economic impact of the 500-odd delegates for the three-day congress was estimated at RM3mil.
“But more importantly is the global recognition of Penang as an important site for fishing and fish farming,” he added.
Lim said last year, Penang’s fisheries sector recorded a revenue of RM1.3bil.
“Our fish farms are located off Sungai Udang near the second Penang bridge and also off Pulau Jerejak.
“We believe this congress will bring more awareness and innovation to our fisheries industry and expose us to world standards and practices.
“It is of great honour for us to be the first Asian host of the congress,” he said.
He added that the event was a platform for the exchange of information, ideas and methodologies for the seafood sector on issues that include inspection, quality management and seafood processing technology.
“We secured the bid against other Asian countries like Thailand, China and Japan,” Lim said.
The World Seafood Congress was initiated by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation. It is organised by IAFI.
The first was held in 1969 in Halifax, Canada.
PCEB chief executive officer Ashwin Gunasekeran said they hoped that Penang’s success would help to pave the way for other Asian hosts in the future.