SEAFOODplus results disseminated widely in 2007

The ITD team meets with Spanish associations and industries

When SEAFOODplus is reporting dissemination activities in the Annual Report to the European Commission, the list usually fills several pages. A variety of dissemination activities are reported, not only scientific publications, but articles in magazines where the results are presented in popular form, other articles in news magazines and media, and many SEAFOODplus partners give interviews to radio and television networks all over Europe. Finally, many presentations are given at conferences and meetings where the most exciting results are disseminated to scientists, industry and to a general public. In 2008 a book will be published highlighting many results coming out of SEAFOODplus of significance to consumer health and wellbeing.


Authors: Torger Børresen, DIFRES, Denmark, Gerjan Schaafsma, SAS, The Netherlands, and Isabel Medina, CSIC, Spain.


The major dissemination activity where SEAFOODplus results were presented in 2007 was the Fourth Open SEAFOODplus Conference held in Bilbao Spain 5-6 June. The conference was covered extensively by the press, both by local and international journalists. Two articles have been published in the Eurofish magazine, and further articles have appeared in magazines like Seafood International, Seafood Processor and Fish Farming International. SEAFOODplus had a stand at the European Seafood Exposition in Brussels 24-26 April 2007. At this occasion the Associates of SEAFOODplus were also highly recognised for their products.

Below, further examples are given of how SEAFOODplus has been presented in 2007. The overview does not give full justice to all presentations as many project results have been presented at both national and international conferences. Some have been referred to in the magazines mentioned above.


ITD team meets with Spanish associations, Madrid

Ms Isabel Hernández chaired the meeting with FROM

On the 22nd of February 2007, the ITD team had a half day meeting with Spanish associations, organisations and major industries. The meeting took place at the premises of The Regulation and Organization Fund for the Fish and Marine Cultures Market (FROM) in Madrid, and was led by Ms Isabel Hernández from this organisation. FROM is an independent body under the Spanish Department of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and designs and develops actions aimed at promoting the consumption of fish products. This involves guiding the fish product market regarding quantities, prices, and quality, as well as providing financial or technical support to associations, co-operatives and businesses within the sector.

There were 18 Spanish representatives from 13 different organisation/associations/industries covering fishermen, fishing fleet, canning industry, wholesalers, retailers, importers, processors and representatives of the fish farming producers.

Several ITD members emphasised the importance of contact between SEAFOODplus and the industry, which could be enhanced by disseminating results to the end users via the associations and organisations. Such channelling of information might make the contents of the information more credited. Most of the associations presented their interest in participating with SEAFOODplus in one way or another. Several options for future contacts were discussed and a structure for involving national associations and industries was proposed.



European Fish and Seafood Conference 2007, London

Ronan Gormley presenting results on functional food from SEAFOODplus

At this major conference, organised by the Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association Group 22 and 23 March 2007 in London, four speakers presented SEAFOODplus results. The title of the conference was Process,  Preservation and Packaging, where the results from SEAFOODplus fitted well.

Paw Dalgaard gave a presentation on how to predict shelf life and safety, Marco Frederiksen presented possibilities for using traceability to ensure consumer confidence, and Ronan Gormley presented fish as functional food by selecting outcomes of several SEAFOODplus projects. Torger Børresen presented a talk prepared by Joop Luten on farmed fish and aquaculture and how products could benefit consumers' health and wellbeing. He also acted as chairman for one of the sessions on this well attended conference with main participation from industry.


Workshop at 10th European Nutrition Conference, Paris

On  10 July, 2007, RTD 1 organized a workshop in the Palais des Congress in Paris in connection with the 10th European Nutrition Conference, organized from 10-13 July by the Federation of the European Nutrition Societies (FENS), in cooperation with the Union Francaise pour la Nutrition et l’Alimentation  (UNFA). The SEAFOODplus workshop was one of the selected 13 workshops. Prof. dr. Gertjan Schaafsma had arranged the workshop together with Dr. Denis Lairon, Vice-President of UFNA and Chairman of the scientific Committee.


More than 100 scientists from a large variety of countries attended the workshop, which was focused on presenting the State of the Art of the three RTD 1 projects (FISHGASTRO, YOUNG and METAHEART) by the respective project leaders, Dr. Liz Lund from IFR in Norwich, UK, Prof. Inga Thorsdottir from the University Hosptital in Reykjavik, Iceland and Dr. Ingeborg Brouwer from The Institute of Health Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam.

Prof. Schaafsma started the workshop by presenting the nutritional significance of fish in human diets and he explained why in SEAFOODplus specific attention is given to the issues of the three RTD 1 Projects. Thereafter Dr. Liz Lund presented an overview of the current thinking about the role of fish oil and fish protein on colon cancer risk. Epidemiological studies point to colon cancer risk reduction and  the multi centre experimental research (Norwich, Wageningen, Jena) of FISHGASTRO tries to confirm this observation by studying the effects of lean and fatty fish on new biomarkers for cancer risk and by trying to find the underlying mechanism of the beneficial effect. Results are expected within the next year. Prof. Inga Thorsdottir presented the first results of a large multi centre trial (Iceland, Ireland, Spain) on the effects of fish or fish oil consumption on weight loss in overweight subjects, which showed that consumption of fish or fish oil  in a weight loss diet enhanced weight loss. The results of this study were published recently in The International Journal of Obesity. Dr Ingeborg Brouwer subsequently presented the results of trials on the effect of fish oil on fatal heart disease. These trials were considered necessary to confirm the beneficial effects of fish consumption on sudden cardiac death, as observed quite consistently in observational studies. However, since such studies may be confounded by uncontrolled variables, experimental research remains required for confirmation. So far, the results of  the experimental work do not show a consistent beneficial effect and it is possible that such a benefit is confined to certain groups of individuals. Additional well-controlled randomized trials are needed to further define the heart health effects of n-3 fatty acids on sudden cardiac death.     


World SEAFOOD Congress 2007, Dublin

The congress was held at the excellent Croake Park conference facilities in Dublin 25-27 September 2007.

SEAFOODplus was granted its own breakout session at the congress and had a stand at the exhibition in connection with the congress. The title of the SEAFOODplus session was 'SEAFOODplus breaking news', and the following presentations were given:

- Overview of the SEAFOODplus programme by Torger Børresen

- Significant contributions to improvements in seafood safety by Bill Dore

- New concepts for value-added functional seafood - inclusion of dietary fibres by Mercedes Careche

- Validation and traceability of seafood - the latest update by Begoña Perez-Villarreal

Further, Joop Luten gave the SEAFOODplus related presentation 'Product innovation and sustainability' at another breakout session. All SEAFOODplus presentations were very well attended, and so was the exhibition stand managed by the Scientific Secretary Jette Donovan Jensen.


CONXEMAR Exhibition, Vigo

SEAFOODplus was presented at the 9th CONXEMAR Exhibition held in Vigo 2-4 October 2007. CONXEMAR is the Spanish Association of Seafood and Aquaculture Industries and its Annual Exhibition is considered to be a fundamental tool for the World Seafood Industry. The exhibition reaches worldwide significance and the number of participants is increasing every year. This year's exhibition had more than 520 exhibitors and 38.000 visitors.

SEAFOODplus was presented at a stand in collaboration with the Spanish Ministry of Fisheries. A large number of visitors demonstrated their interest in the project, particularly participants affiliated with Industry and Administration. Many of them expressed their interest in possibilities for participating in future projects. Isabel Medina, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas, and Mercedes Careche, Instituto del Frio, were very busy arranging for the setup of the stand and managing it during the exhibition.


37th WEFTA meeting, Lisbon

The title of this year's WEFTA meeting was ’Seafood: Source of Health and Well-being’ and gathered 190 registered participants from 20 countries 24-26 October in Lisbon. A the meeting a total of 147 contributions were presented, of which 63 were 'regular' presentations of 20 minutes, and 84 were very short summaries instead of posters, For many years it has been practiced that instead of posters contributors are given 5 minutes to present a summary, but with full abstract given in the conference book.

SEAFOODplus participants were well represented both with full oral presentations and short summaries. At the opening session, SEAFOODplus Coordinator Torger Børresen gave the presentation 'Significance of Integrating Seafood Research in Europe as Achieved in the SEAFOODplus Programme', where he suggested a closer connection between SEAFOODplus and WEFTA.


52nd Annual AFTC Conference, Portland, Maine

AFTC is an association for seafood technologists on the North American East Coast and the Maritime Canada, and corresponds to WEFTA in Europe. The 52nd meeting was held 4-7 November 2007 in Portland, Maine, and three SEAFOODplus members were invited as keynote speakers. The title of the conference was 'Enhancing Seafood Choices: Quality, Technology and Products'. Karen Brunsø, coordinator of RTD 2 in SEAFOODplus presented the keynote lecture at the opening session: 'Consumer perceptions of seafood: What's the trend?'. Later the same day, project leader of 4.4 BIOCOM, Paw Dalgaard, gave a keynote presentation with the title: 'Microbial safety and quality of aquatic muscle food', and at the second day of the conference, SEAFOODplus Coordinator Torger Børresen presented a keynote with the title: 'New concepts and ingredient technologies for improving the nutritional value of seafood'. The AFTC forum was smaller than WEFTA, but many good discussions were created, and participation from industry was excellent.