The IFOMC Steering Committee

by / Wednesday, 07 February 2018 / Published in Sin categoría @en

Given the imminent celebration of the International Fisheries Observer & Monitoring Conference, IFOMC that will be held next June in Vigo, the main members of the committee meet this week in the Pazo de los Escudos Hotel to review more than 200 abstracts received. After reviewing all of them, they will select the speakers at the conference and finalise its programme. “We are very happy with the participation and we expect a high attendance” states Gabriel Gómez Celaya, general manager of the Spanish company Marine Instruments and member of the international steering committee of the IFOMC.

Marine Instruments, led by Gabriel Gómez Celaya, its the company in charge of organizing this event in Vigo, which expects the attendance of 300 people from the five continents. It’s the first time that this event takes place in Europe, and Vigo, being the fishing centre par excellence, is the perfect venue for the celebration of its ninth edition. In addition, this will be the first bilingual edition, which will also draw a lot of people from South America.

The IFOMC is the main international forum on observer programs and fishing monitoring technologies. It will last five days with panel sessions, scientific posters and workshops to focus on the main topics of discussion. In this edition, the Landing Obligation will play a special role, with a full-day workshop to discuss its implications at a European level. The aim of the landing obligation is to progressively eliminate discards in all European Union fisheries through its enforcement.

Another workshop will focus on emerging electronic monitoring technologies and their future. A future to which Marine Instruments dedicates a large part of its R & D efforts and has been working on for more than 6 years installing electronic observers in trawlers, longliners and purse seiners. His recent alliance with the Canadian company pioneer in electronic monitoring, Archipelago Marine Research, allows for further advancement of EM technology throughout the world and increased adoption of Electronic Monitoring as a viable solution for fisheries monitoring.

The congress will also promote the city of Vigo, since organizers have prepared a social program with the possibility of visiting the fish market or shipyards. For the moment, the conference has the support of different international sponsors such as the NOAA (National Marine Fisheries Service), DTU Aqua (National Institute of Aquatic Resources), ISSF (International Foundation for Sustainable Fisheries), Alaskan Observers Inc. and the EFCA (European Fisheries Control Agency). Likewise, the company Pescachile has confirmed the sponsorship of an observer, that means that one observer from anywhere in the world will be able to attend the conference for free.

Local government institutions have also confirmed they will support the conference.

The event will be held between June 11 and 15 at the Pazo de los Escudos Hotel. More information at