Greeting

Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation
and Director of the Federal Agency for Fishery
Ilya Shestakov

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to the official website of the Global Fishery Forum and Exhibition for Fishery, Seafood and Knowhow!

It’s hard to overestimate the fishing industry’s contribution to the world economy and social well-being. The planet’s growing population and the corresponding increase in consumption present the international community and Russia, as one of the leading fishing nations, with the challenge of ensuring global food security while simultaneously preserving the biodiversity of the world’s oceans.

Fish and seafood are among the best-selling categories of the global food market. In addition, the fishing and aquaculture sector constitutes a source of substantial financial revenue to national budgets as well as income for millions of people. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, roughly 57 million people are engaged in industrial fishing alone.

Given climate change, economic and financial uncertainty, and growing competition for natural resources, by 2050 the international community will have to answer the global question: how and what are we going to feed more than nine billion people? We propose making this a subject of discussion at the Global Fishery Forum in St. Petersburg in September 2017.

This marks the first time that Russia will host the professionals of the global fish industry. We expect that the event will be interesting primarily due to the current and fundamental agenda. The Forum plans to address several important topics – the challenges that define the future of fisheries and aquaculture in the world. The theme of the first forum’s plenary session is ‘Global View on Fishing in the World Ocean: Cooperation or Competition?’ Today, a number of major countries lack a resource base. Sovereign rights to fish bioresources within countries’ exclusive economic zones remain inviolable, including the regulated access of foreign vessels. Most of the water areas in the open part of the World Ocean are regulated by multilateral international agreements, but there are also “free” waters. At the same time, the United Nations is working to protect the “health of the ocean” and create protected marine areas where industrial fishing is limited. How can we find a balance between the interests of multiple stakeholders? Continuing the theme of access to bioresources, the Forum’s participants will hold roundtables to consider the main threats to the state of fish stocks, ways to manage natural risks as well as the problems of trade protectionism – the ‘red lines’ for protecting the interests of national producers in the context of growing trade globalization.

One of our tasks is to create a communication platform on which representatives of the government, fishery companies, enterprises of related industries as well as the scientific and expert communities will meet. Political and business formats traditionally try to divide, but we believe that the challenges facing the global economy require mutual trust and joint actions on the part of the state and business in addition to compromise and mutually beneficial solutions. We also hope that the Forum will help to draft useful practical recommendations for international organizations, including the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The events currently taking place on the global market have a direct impact on the future of the Russian fishing industry. Today, domestic fisheries and aquaculture are on the verge of huge changes with the start of a new cycle of development involving the implementation of large-scale and ambitious investment projects. Russia is rich in natural resources, however the commodity-based market model has exhausted itself, and we see significant potential for economic growth with a fundamentally new structure of domestic production and fish exports.

A strategy for the development of the Russian fishery industry over the period until 2030 will be presented at the Forum. Doubling the industry’s contribution to national GDP and raising USD 10 billion in investment over 10 years are key benchmarks. Russia could become a significant growth point on a global industrial scale, and we are ready to create opportunities for foreign producers and investors to get involved in this process. To this end, the Forum will feature the Exhibition for Fishery, Seafood and Knowhow, which we hope will become a significant and regular event in the business world.

On behalf of the Federal Agency for Fishery, I invite you to take part in the first Global Fishery Forum and Exhibition for Fishery, Seafood and Knowhow. You will be treated to Russia’s well-known hospitality!

See you soon in St. Petersburg!