The 2021 seafood industry conference programme covers two full days in August and has a clear focus on the industry’s priorities in the years ahead.

The format will follow last year’s ‘workshop’, during which Phil O’Reilley facillitated over a panel discussion at the end of each group pf speakers’ presentations on a particular theme.  

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reece will open the conference, Oceans and Fisheries Minister David Parker and Director General of MPI, Ray Smith will lay out the government’s priorities and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Dame Juliet Gerard will talk about her recent report into the future of commercial fishing in New Zealand.

The keynote speaker will be Greg Dyer from the Sydney Seafood market on the $750 million redevelopment of their premises and the launch of their digital trading platform.

Technology will play a big part, with presentations on new innovations around Precision Seafood Harvesting, the latest vessel technology, 3D imaging for seafood quality assesment, a mobile fish measuring app, and drone technology for monitoring Maui dolphins.

Encouraging Kiwis into the seafood industry is a big focus of 2021 and speakers will talk on the challenges and opportunities of the workforce transition plan and the need to collaborate on this with other primary industries.

How to look after our people who are impacted by legislative and regulatory reform is a problem being dealt with on both sides of the Tasman, and it will be good to welcome our friends, border-willing, from Australia who will present on their Stay Afloat programme, which mirrors our newly launched First Mate initiative.

Sir Ian Taylor, of Animation Research will be another highlight. The company responsible for the state of the art America’s Cup graphics will address the conference on how electronic reporting and the data collected could be a great opportunity for other uses of the information collected.

Marine proected areas, their uses and limitations will be addressed, and the Forest Owners’ Association and NIWA will talk about the very real issue of sedimentation in our coastal waters.

Rounding off the conference will be Whanganui boy made good, internationally-renowned chef Peter Gordon on food innovation and his new Auckland venture Homeland.

It will be a big two days in Nelson and registrations are already very strong.

A link to the detailed programme will be provided in next week’s Update.