The Crown Princess of Sweden and Seabos spokesperson raised vital points at Aquavision Aquaculture Conference alongside former Nutreco CEO Knut Nesse.
In recent years, Aquavision Aquaculture Conference has had a tradition of inviting high profile personalities who aren’t well known for their connection to seafood. Continuing that trend was Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden.
“The list of what the ocean gives us is long. Among other things, food, medicine and energy. Unfortunately, the list is also far from what we give back” said the crown princess to the crowd at Stavanger concert hall. The heir apparent to the Swedish throne covered everything from pollution, to plastic, to overuse of antibiotics.
“The challenges are huge. But things can happen that can take us in the right direction – where government, researchers and business work together” she said.
The Crown Princess is involved with the Swedish initiative Seabos (Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship), which brings researchers and key industry players together for more sustainable ocean management, connecting the global seafood industry to science.
Seabos outlined the ten dominant global companies in fisheries, fish farming and fish feed production that can affect future developments. Four of the companies are western and six Asian.
Must do more
Knut Nesse, the former head of the Dutch feed giant Nutreco and company Skretting, which turns over EUR 64 billion annually, is also Chairman of Seabos. Nesse recently resigned after six years as CEO. He is one of the ten insider participants.
“We are major players in the industry who can contribute by ensuring that standards are raised. We can stop buying from customers who do not comply with those standards. Our voice is so strong that we can influence the authorities. The industry must first clean in its own back yard to ensure good development” said Nesse.
“There is still room for improvement. Therefore, in pure self-interest, we should engage in initiatives like Seabos. The industry must be sustainable for the future, “says Nesse.
He also pointed out that there are significant differences between regions.
“In Norway, we still have some challenges, especially ones related to sea lice. Nevertheless, we are still far ahead of the rest of the world in many areas. Seabos has an important function as a bridge builder.
He refered to several points of importance that needed urgent reform which included:
- Reducing illegal fishing and overfishing
- Getting rid of modern slavery and bad working conditions
- Using new and improved raw materials in fish feed
- The reduction of antibiotics
Princess Victoria’s influence also extended to the Asian markets. “With The Crown Princess on board, this makes it easier to get our message through. This is especially true in Asia, where royals have very high status. Without her contribution, we would probably not have been able to meet with Asia’s leaders,” Nesse said.