Asia to Host the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade Conference

By Elisha Singira

For the first time since 2008, Asia will become the host of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET) conference.

This is after WorldFish,  an international, nonprofit research and innovation institution that creates, advances, and translates aquatic food systems science into scalable solutions was announced as the host of the 2024 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.

While applauding WorldFish and the organizers in Malaysia for offering to host the next conference,  IIFET PresidentElect Dr. Olivier Thébaud noted that this was going to be a great opportunity for strengthening the capacity to address global challenges in managing the world’s aquatic food sectors for sustainability.

IIFET conferences are attended by fisheries social scientists, managers and industry representatives from every fishing region around the globe hence they offer participants unrivaled opportunities to network with the top fisheries economists in both formal and informal settings.

“We are excited to partner with WorldFish for IIFET 2024. The meeting will help to channel the intellectual insights and energy of fisheries economists into pressing global needs to enhance food and nutritional security from aquatic foods, build new international collaborations and support continued innovation in the economics of aquatic food systems and the trade of aquatic foods,”IIFET President, Dr. Martin D. Smithsaid.

WorldFish’s winning bid included four novel thematic sessions to give the 2024 conference a unique identity in addition to the themes that are common in past IIFET conferences. The novel themes are; the economics of food and nutrition, Ocean equity – Distributional justice, optimizing aquatic food systems for resilience and Fisheries, aquaculture and trade futures.

Speaking about the WorldFish’s winning bidWorldFish Acting Director of Sustainable Aquatic Food Systems Prof. Edward Allison said, “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. To progress towards fisheries and aquaculture sustainability as a contribution to the SDGs, we suggest the theme Aquatic Food Systems in the Blue Economy.”

It was agreed that 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.

WorldFish Interim Director General and Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research(CGIAR) Acting Senior Director of Aquatic Food Systems Dr. Essam Yassin Mohammed said, “We look forward to hosting a memorable IIFET conference in 2024. This announcement exemplifies WorldFish’s ability to bring people together and promote the exchange of ideas, particularly in relation to aquatic food systems, on a global stage. We appreciate the IIFET Secretariat’s confidence and support in us.”

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