Participants at the 20th annual minister’s conference, hosted by the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, will be able to learn from an international brand expert and visit a trade show with industry suppliers. The conference will be held Feb. 22-23 at the Halifax Convention Centre. “Nova Scotia seafood is competing and succeeding in international markets because of our focus on quality,” said Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell. “The knowledge and expertise being shared at this year’s conference can help us to be even more successful in sharing our story of premium quality with global seafood markets.” Gavin Gibbons, vice president, communications, National Fisheries Institute in McLean, Virginia, will lead a session about the impact of media, including Facebook and Twitter, on brand reputation. Mr. Gibbons is well known for his experience in both the seafood industry and media. He has been featured in the Washington Post, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press. He has also been a commentator on fisheries issues for National Public Radio, CNN and the Fox Business Network. Prior to joining the National Fisheries Institute in 2007 he worked as a television news producer and earned awards from the Associated Press, Gannett, the Detroit Press Foundation and received an Emmy Award. “This year the minister’s conference is taking a holistic approach to seafood. It’s focusing on not just how we handle fish and fisheries but also how we communicate about them,” said Mr. Gibbons. “Speaking with one voice to avoid creating negative impressions through media and marketing can be as important as how the resource is harvested.” Nova Scotia seafood and industry products will be showcased at the conference. Premium quality Nova Scotia seafood will be featured at the opening night reception and this year’s conference trade show will feature 40 booths with industry suppliers. The mission of the minister’s conference, first held in 1997, is to support innovation that can enhance the value derived from Nova Scotia’s quality fish and seafood resources. Participants will benefit from global expertise that can help them grow jobs and economic opportunities for the province’s coastal and rural communities. Visit www.perennia.ca/seafoodconference to register and for more information, including a list of trade show exhibitors.