Penang will be hosting the 2024 International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET) conference. The 21st edition of the biennial conference will be held in Penang, a state located in the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia, where WorldFish is based since relocating its headquarters in 2000. The 2024 conference will be held in Asia for the first time since Nha Trang, Vietnam in 2008.
The policy forum for the conference in Penang will focus on the emerging concept of nutrition-sensitive fisheries and aquaculture and will be headlined by the originator of the concept, WorldFish's Global Lead for Nutrition and Public Health Dr. Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted, who is also the 2021 World Food Prize Laureate.
"Penang stands as a center of excellence for marine and coastal studies and is also where the World Fish regional headquarters is situated. This conference will be a great opportunity to strengthen the state's capacity to address the global challenges we face in managing the world's aquatic food sectors for sustainability" quoted Ashwin Gunasekeran, the CEO of PCEB.
"With Asia accounting for 70 percent of the total fisheries and aquaculture production of aquatic animals in 2020, it makes a lot of sense for the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade conference to be held in Asia. Penang will be just the third city where this conference is held in this region", quoted Dr Essam Yassin Mohammed, the WorldFish Interim Director General.
"Although Penang's main economic drivers, in terms of contribution toward the state's GDP, are the manufacturing and services sectors, there is no denying the importance of developing the agriculture sector, which includes fisheries and aquaculture, to guarantee a sufficient supply of affordable, available and nutritious food for the people of Penang to reduce reliance on costly food imports. This in turn will undoubtedly help keep food prices stable. Future aquaculture production that is in excess of domestic need can be exported to further boost Penang's GDP' said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow in his press statement.
"Just six years before humanity is due to meet a set of ambitious UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we want to focus the attention of IIFET's membership on the growth-inequality resilience nexus that intersects with fisheries and aquaculture economics and trade," said Edward Hugh Allison, the WorldFish Acting Director of Sustainable Aquatic Food Systems.
The conference is expected to be attended by fisheries social scientists, managers, and industry representatives from every fishing region around the globe. The wealth of knowledge and expertise that the congress will bring to Penang will not only benefit and enrich the local aquaculture industry but the entire Asian region. The 3 days conference is expecting estimated delegates of 350 pax and an economic impact of RM2.1 million.
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