WFC: A beginning fit for a prince

WFC: A beginning fit for a prince

Abby LynchBlogger: Abigail Lynch: PhD student

The World Fisheries Congress is essentially the Olympics of fisheries conferences with more than 1,000 delegates from around the world here to present on topics related to sustainable fisheries. 

It’s important to kick the meeting off with a bang so speakers today included myself (abstract),  Marielle Peschiera (abstract), Ray Hilborn (a celebrity if ever there was one in our field).

And, oh, the Prince of Wales. 

We all speculated as to why there was heavy security this morning and why we needed to bring ourPrince Charles passports to the plenary session. Once Prince Charles was announced the speculation was no longer necessary.  The Prince was quite knowledgeable on the subject of fisheries and spoke about one of his charities, the International Sustainability Unit which seeks to end global overfishing.  Ray Hilborn also gave a provocative plenary speech pointing out the hypocrisy of restaurants and grocery stores that will refuse to sell certain seafood products when they sell livestock products which, environmentally, have a significantly greater impact.

Marielle and I were fortunate enough to be in interesting sessions and received great feedback from the audience on our talks.  One of the great advantages of attending a global conference is that you can reconnect with international colleagues.  For me, for example, I’ve had the privilege of presenting an update of my dissertation research to Alistair Hobday, one of my principal mentors for my Australia trip.

Our first day was a full day, but we had a delicious dinner to look forward to at the end. Ian Gray, the MSU vice president for research and graduate studies, treated us to an MSU event dinner.  It is quite unusual that such a large group from one university would be attending such an important international conference.  But, as Bill Taylor says, “to play on the international stage, you need to be on the international stage.”  So, we are all excited to be here interacting with our international colleagues and look forward to the rest of the conference!

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