International Symposium on Fisheries Sustainability

Side event
Blue innovation: emerging technologies and trends in fishery sustainability

Monday, 18 November 2019 / 10:30 – 12:00

Sheikh Zayed Centre, FAO headquarters

The side event will be webcast. Interpretation available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian



Innovation in the fisheries sector has increased in recent years, providing diverse opportunities for those working in the sector. In 2013, FAO launched the Blue Growth Initiative. Blue Growth balances the economic, environmental and social development connected to all policies related to the management of these aquatic resources and the communities that depend on them for their food and nutrition security and livelihoods.

New areas of work, such as sustainable Blue Fashion and the medical use of fish skin examine ways to utilize all parts of the fish and promote sustainability. Moreover, these activities provide opportunities to earn additional income for fisheries communities who may face pressures to fish less, thereby requiring alternative income generating opportunities. Creating products made from recycled marine debris, such as sneakers or sunglasses produced from recycled marine plastic, or bioplastic created by fisheries byproducts, marine debris and waste are innovative solutions creating sustainable, quality products while simultaneously working to achieve cleaner beaches and healthier oceans.

Creative uses of algae – utilized in clothing, healthcare products, cosmetic products, and biodegradable water pods are creating new opportunities for young entrepreneurs committed to creating products that are gentler on our planet. And cutting-edge technologies like drones and Artificial Intelligence provide new technology-driven approaches to ensure that the fish we eat is legally caught and that fishing vessels are adhering to laws and regulations.

This Fisheries Innovation Forum and the presence of various innovators in FAO Atrium display during the week of the Fisheries Symposium provide an opportunity to explore these innovations and exchange ideas. During the Forum, we will highlight Blue Fashion, medical use for fish skin, fisheries-sourced bioplastics and the drones guided by Artificial Intelligence.

Most of all, the conversations we begin at this Fisheries Innovation Forum will allow all of us to think strategically about how fisheries innovation can best provide opportunities to the fisheries, aquaculture and coastal communities with whom we work, allowing them to benefit from fisheries innovation.

The side event will be structured to discuss a number of questions by referring to different innovative and evident practices:

  • The situation: Where does the innovative process start and how do you steer it in the right direction?
  • The drivers: What drives your innovation and what challenge are you trying to address?
  • The innovation: What are the main differences between your innovation and those of other competitors?
  • The challenge: How do you move from a concept to a prototype and eventually to the market?
  • The impact/way forward: What is needed to mainstream innovative products?

Invited speakers

Blue fashion (ocean sourced materials: fish leather and algae)

  • James Ambani, Founder, Victorian Foods
  • Barbara della Rovere, Founder,
  • Daniel Hatton, CEO, Commonwealth Fashion Council

Medical use of fish skin (skin regeneration for burn victims and amputees)

  • Jeevithan Elango, Associate professor, Shanghai Ocean University
  • Wenhui Wu, Professor, Shanghai Ocean University

Cutting edge technologies (creating bioplastics from marine debris and breaking the boundaries of aeronautics with Artificial Intelligence)

  • Badr Idrissi, CEO, ATLAN Space
  • Lucy Hughes, James Dyson Award winner, University of Sussex