In October each year the Spanish Association of Wholesalers, Importers, Manufacturers and Exporters of Fish products and Aquaculture (Conxemar) organizes the International Frozen Seafood Exhibition in Vigo, Spain.
Back to back with this event Conxemar jointly holds an international conference together with FAO. This year the conference was dedicated to cephalopods, a group of molluscs that includes squids, cuttlefishes, and octopus. The conference also provides the backdrop for various side events such as the Vigo dialogue on decent work in fisheries and aquaculture, and the meeting of the Fish Info Network (FIN).
The directors from Eurofish, Infofish, Infopeche, Infopesca, Infosamak, and Infoyu met together with FAO’s Nianjun Shen, Audun Lem, and Manuel Barange, the new Director of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Resources Division. Each of the FIN directors gave a brief presentation of work in progress and issues that were of importance before the FAO representatives described some of the changes that have been taking place at FAO.
One of the main issues mentioned was that the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture department, like all other departments, now also has to incorporate FAO’s strategic objectives into its work. These are:
• Help eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition
• Make agriculture, forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable
• Reduce rural poverty
• Enable inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems
• Increase the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises
Programmes and policies launched by the department have to clearly contribute to achieving these overall goals. The impact of these changes on the relationship between FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Department and the members of the
Fish Info Network remains to be seen.