Atlantic Canada will host the 22nd edition of the GOAL conference in the fall of 2023, the Global Seafood Alliance (GSA) announced on May 18.
GOAL: The Responsible Seafood Conference, the largest international seafood business conference of its kind, will bring 500 seafood industry leaders from around the world to the host city of Saint John, New Brunswick. This is only the second time GOAL will have been held in Canada, with Vancouver being the host city in 2015. GOAL has been held in 18 cities on four continents (North America, South America, Europe and Asia) since 2001 and is being held in Seattle in the fall of 2022 and Scotland in the fall of 2024.
“Atlantic Canada is a major seafood producer on the global aquaculture scene, particularly with salmon. The region’s finfish and shellfish aquaculture farmers have embraced best practices and are highly regarded as responsible and significant contributors to the rural coastal economy and working waterfronts in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. Coupled with a rich tradition of wild-harvest fisheries, New Brunswick is an ideal fit for GOAL 2023 and GSA,” said GSA CEO Brian Perkins.
The Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association (ACFFA), the trade association representing the region’s fish-farming sector, led the bid and will work with Canada’s federal government, New Brunswick’s provincial government and other seafood industry bodies throughout Atlantic Canada, including several producer associations for both farmed and wild seafood, to deliver the event along with GSA.
“As one of the regions that pioneered the global salmon farming sector, Atlantic Canada has become an extraordinary hub of innovative and sustainable aquaculture and cutting-edge marine research. We cannot wait to showcase Atlantic Canada’s science-based, collaborative approach to sustainable seafood production to the world,” said Susan Farquharson, executive director of the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association. “Hosting GOAL in Atlantic Canada will give our seafood professionals invaluable opportunities to learn from and connect with their counterparts from around the world so we can continue to evolve our sector.”
“Atlantic Canada has a deep relationship with the ocean and producing sustainable seafood. As a family company we have always worked to improve operations and the quality of our products. Innovation is part of who we are, intrinsic to our east coast mentality and the values of everybody who works with us,” said Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke Aquaculture Inc.
“Even as we have continued to grow our global seafood company our head office remains in New Brunswick. It is here where our company began and as a GOAL 2023 platinum sponsor, we’ll be showcasing a New Brunswick-made project we are a proud partner of — Fundy Salmon Recovery — the world’s first wild salmon recovery project to collect young fish after they have spent the critical early life stages in the wild and then care for them at a dedicated marine conservation fish farm on Grand Manan Island using aquaculture technology. This leading model is seeing historic returns of endangered Inner Bay of Fundy wild Atlantic salmon and the results have been possible only because of the revolutionary partnership of Parks Canada, Fort Folly First Nation Habitat Recovery, UNB, Cooke Aquaculture, the Province of New Brunswick and the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association,” added Glenn Cooke.
“I am thrilled the Global Seafood Alliance has chosen Saint John, New Brunswick, to be the host for the 22nd edition of the GOAL conference. This is an extremely important event, and we look forward to welcoming industry leaders from around the globe to our province,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Margaret Johnson. “There is no better place to see the aquaculture and fisheries sectors up close and personal. Our seafood sectors are essential economic drivers for many rural, coastal and Indigenous communities in New Brunswick, and being able to showcase what we do best and learn from others is a tremendous opportunity.”
“We are excited that GOAL 2023 is going to be held in Saint John, the only city on the world-famous Bay of Fundy,” said Paulette Hicks, CEO of Envision Saint John: The Regional Growth Agency. “Hosting this international seafood leaders conference will inject upwards of $1M into the local economy. We look forward to the opportunity to showcase our amazing city and businesses and recognize that every visitor to our region is a potential new resident, business owner or investor.”
For 21 years GOAL has acted as platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration amongst industry, NGOs, academia, government, retail, and foodservice. It’s a unique blend of professionals representing both farmed and wild seafood, united by an ever-evolving, forward-thinking conference program that identifies emerging challenges and offers solutions to those challenges. Moderated by GSA’s subject matter experts, GOAL’s carefully curated program features around 60 international speakers and centers on production, sustainability, innovation, and market trends.
Each GOAL is unique, embracing the identity and culture of the host country while providing an entertaining, casual atmosphere for professionals to network and socialize through offsite receptions and dinners as well as tours of production facilities.
About Global Seafood Alliance
The Global Seafood Alliance is an international, nonprofit trade association dedicated to advancing responsible seafood practices through education, advocacy and third-party assurances. Through the development of its Best Aquaculture Practices and Best Seafood Practices certification programs, GSA has become the leading provider of assurances for seafood globally. The organization’s work addresses the full spectrum of responsibility, from environmental responsibility and social accountability to food safety. Established in 1997 as the Global Aquaculture Alliance, GSA is headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H., USA. To learn more, visit www.globalseafood.org.
The Atlantic Canada Fish Farmer Association members – farmers, feed producers, and service support organizations – represent an industry that contributes more than $2 billion, and over 8,000 jobs, each year to the Atlantic Canadian economy through research-intensive, environmentally and commercially responsible aquaculture. ACFFA operates a private marine tidal wharf facility to service its members and organizes Atlantic Canada’s annual aquaculture research conference that brings together industry professionals to learn about the latest trends, opportunities, innovations and research in our sector. ACFFA, formerly known as the New Brunswick Salmon Growers’ Association (NBSGA), has represented salmon farmers since 1987. Find out more at www.atlanticfishfarmers.com.