Heidi Nilsen, Research director Industrial Seafood Processing in Nofima (Tromsø, Norway) gave a warm welcome speech at the opening of the 43rd annual WEFTA conference held in Tromsø from 9-11th of
October. Almost 100 participants mainly from Europe were attending this conference on Seafood innovation throughout the seafood chain.
The theme of this year’s WEFTA 'Seafood innovations throughout the value chain' inviting the participants to share their results and experience covering a broad field of marine science: Spanning from when the fish is swimming around in the sea, through catch, processing and storage until it is ready to consume either as a homemade meal or maybe in a classy restaurant. What tools and processing options are chosen in order to maintain high quality and present an appealing meal to the consumer? The question may be simple to answer when handling a small quantum, but not similarly easy when processing millions of tons for demanding markets.
This year’s conference took the participants through the value chain; from new developments in live storage and handling practices, through catch and quality systems, as well as processing and measuring in order to determine limits and enhance quality characteristics. Also attention was paid to how to utilize the by-products and what actions may be taken to increase the value of marine production. During the conference several seafood success stories were presented, to challenge and inspire for new opportunities. Results and findings were delivered in more than 80 scientific contributions, given as oral presentations as well as posters. Additionally three keynote speakers were invited to highlight topics that were of particular relevance to seafood science and development in the years to come. Heidi Nilsen
expressed her hope that the full three days program will the participants plenty to think about and discuss, both during and after the conference.
She thanked the contributors – with presentations and posters- for sharing their research and results. Also she appreciated the conference chairs for managing sessions and scientists. In addition to the scientific contributions and engagement, the making of the conference would not have been possible without the efforts of several Nofima colleagues. She thanked the conference organizing team at Nofima for contributing to the realization of this year’s conference, especially appreciating the commitment of co-chair Hilde Herland and efficient "get-it-done” secretariat manager Heidi Trige.
After her welcome speech the mayor of Tromsø Jens Johan Hjort welcomed the participants. He emphasised the importance of Tromsø as an international oriented event city. In that perspective the WEFTA conference fitted very well in his opinion. He finally gave a performance as singing mayor of Tromsø and then the WEFTA 2013 meeting was officially opened.