Chefs, scientists and fishermen from four continents are meeting in a new multidisciplinary congress to exchange knowledge and defend the recovery of marine ecosystems.

July 7, 2020

The second edition of the event, online and free of charge, will be held from 13th to 15th July, organised by both the Gastronomy Division of Vocento and the Regional Government of Andalusia as an institutional supporter.

Among the speakers will be: Chefs Ángel León, Quique Dacosta, David Thompson, scientists and experts from the marine world Manel Barange, Carlos Duarte, Enric Sala, Manu San Félix or Alexandra Cousteau.

National Geographic’s ‘Pristine Seas’ project, which specialises in filming the planet’s last unspoilt marine areas, wins the 2020 Sartun Award for the defence of the seas.

Scientists, fishermen and chefs once again come together at the Meeting of the Seas, a multidisciplinary and international event that will take place online on July 13th, 14th and 15th and will this year be entitled “Oceans as Food Source and Future Reserve”.

This is the only world congress to link gastronomy with science and the fishing sector. Its ultimate aims are to both debate and go more in-depth defending the culture of the sea as well as demanding urgent sustainable measures for an optimum recovery of the health of our oceans. In this edition, the focus will be on the role of the seas asood source and future reserve. How are we going to feed 10 billion people in 2050? The answer to this colossal challenge lies in the seas themselves and will be one of the many questions that this virtual congress will try to respond to by opening up new discussion points to be debated by an extensive panel of world experts from different disciplines whose professional activity is linked to the oceans. We will talk about the current state of fishing, the future of marine biodiversity, sustainability, health, fisheries management, the challenge of increasing fish consumption or the experiences of cooks who have a special connection with the sea and who will speak from different corners of the world.

This new edition of the Meeting of the Seas, organised by the Gastronomy Division of Vocento and the Regional Government of Andalusia, will last three days and has a digital format that has been adapted to the new reality. More than 20 presentations by professionals – marine biologists, oceanographers, leading figures from the fishing industry and chefs from all over the world – in the form of talks, round tables and showcases, will provide an up-to-date picture of the marine world, focusing on the oceans as the only possible source of sustainable and healthy human food in the coming decades.

In 2019, the Meeting of the Seas was held between Malaga (Mediterranean) and Cadiz (Atlantic) and focused attention on the two seas that gave meaning to the initiative. On this occasion, the great bet is to make the congress more international by inviting speakers from all five continents. The second innovation is the change to a 100% online format due to the current health situation caused by the Covid-19 crisis. With a digital platform created ad hoc for the event, where the audience – who register previously free of charge – can participate through questions, chats and other tools.

“We intend to generate a unique dialogue and an exchange of knowledge between sectors that are rarely in contact, despite living around the sea. We have an obligation to bring the visions of each side closer together in order to better defend the ultimate interest that we all share, which is to ensure that in the future we have healthy oceans that are full of life,” explains Benjamín Lana, director of Gastronomy at Grupo Vocento and promoter of the congress.

Following on from last year’s model, the program will alternate presentations by respected scientists specializing in marine issues with the participation of chefs who are renowned for the use of fish in their restaurants. “We wanted to bring those who can contribute most and best to the congress”, from Argentina to Kenya, via the USA, China and Argentina. There will also be a Spanish presence, with world-class chefs such as Quique Dacosta or Ángel León as hosts, albeit in digital form.

Around twenty guests from all over the world

Among the apron-wearing professionals who focus their work mainly on the sea, and in addition to the triple-star Aponiente and Quique Dacosta, this second edition of the Meeting of the Seas will also play host to: David Thompson, the Australian chef based in Hong Kong, (Aaharn Restaurant); Paula Baez, Cristian Gomez and Meyling Tang from Tres Peces, Chile’s first responsible fishing restaurant; the Argentinean Fer Rivarola (El Baqueano, Buenos Aires, Argentina), a cook from the world’s meat capital who is betting on fish, and not to mention the Andalusian José Álvarez (one Michelin star in La Costa, El Ejido), Sebastián Guerrero and Lourdes Villalobos (Restaurant Chinchín, Caleta de Vélez in Málaga), who evoke the magic of the Alborán Sea in their menus.

All will share a virtual auditorium with some of the most important marine biologists and oceanographers in the world, experts in different marine areas such as Carlos Duarte, professor at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Saudi Arabia); Manel Barange, director of the UN Fisheries Policy and Resources Division (FAO); Cristina Hicks (Kenya), researcher at the Lancaster Environment Centre Lancaster University (UK); Vidar Helgesen (Norway), special representative of the Nordic country for the Ocean; Boris Worm, marine ecologist and professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax (Nova Scotia, Canada); Enric Sala, director of the Pristine Seas Project of National Geographic, his partner and fellow National Geographic explorer Manu San Félix or the environmental activist and filmmaker Alexandra Cousteau (USA), granddaughter of the famous researcher Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

The sessions, approximately 30 minutes in length and with simultaneous translation, will deal with very varied themes, all of them constructive around the oceans and their conservation, and all related to the different uses of fish in gastronomy or how cooks can contribute to socialize the revolution that is being sought in the oceans. In addition, data from the most recent world reports on fisheries will be available; subjects such as the state of the Arctic sea, fish stocks and the role of small fish in the food chain will be discussed.

Sartun Award to National Geographic

On the last day of the congress, Wednesday 16th, the Sartun Prize will be awarded – the official mascot of the meeting – the organisation’s way of recognising the work of a person, group or organisation in defence of the seas. Last year’s winner was Global Fishing Watch, the NGO that geolocates boats around the world to fight against illegal fishing. This year, the award will go to National Geographic’s Pristine Seas Project, which is filming the last unspoilt marine areas of the planet. During the congress, two of the most outstanding documentaries will be broadcast from this scientific and informative project.

The II Meeting of the Seas can be followed in Spanish and English from the web page, where only prior registration is required, free of charge.
The congress has an ethical code of supporting and defending activities that result in marine sustainability. It promotes social awareness of the importance of respect for the sea environment as a means of guaranteeing the future of the planet.