OMC Asia keynote; producing more with fewer resources
The Official Mariculture Conference 2018 began this morning with Conference Chairman Alessandro Lovatelli, Regional Fisheries and Aquaculture Officer at the FAO beginning his introduction. Also on the podium were Lukas Manomaitis, Conference Chairman and USSEC Aquaculture Program Technical Contractor and Southeast Asian Technical Director at the US Soybean Export Council, Colby Sutter, Director of the International Aquaculture Program at USSEC, Guillaume Drillet, President of the World Aquaculture Society Asian Pacific Chapter and European Aquaculture Society President Bjorn Myrseth.
Welcoming the audience to Singapore, Alessandro Lovatelli set the tone of the conference and highlighted the issues that make any kind of business or aquaculture industry successful, from the seed supply stage to the importance of having good quality and quantity fingerlings, feed and site selection options.
Lukas Manomaitis introduced his colleague Colby Sutter, who explained the roles of USSEC including keeping up to date with customer needs and emphasized the critical role of the international market for soybean farmers, with 60% of US soy exported every year. US farmers' commitment to aquaculture is also high, with the potential of fish farming recognized and millions of dollars being invested in global aquaculture.
Lukas made reference to the success of the previous Barcelona conference and highlighted his wish to see a comprehensive, long-term export-driven industrial scale marine fish aquaculture industry in South East Asia, and for people to understand what needs to happen for such an industry to become a reality.
Guillaume Drillet began the first keynote address by talking about the World Aquaculture Society and its role in promoting aquaculture for sustainable growth. He then highlighted a key challenge, to produce twice as much food as is being produced today.
"In 20 years from now, we will need to produce twice as much, with twice as less resources," he said. "We want to make sure that our kids can produce whatever they need to in future, and we must ensure that we are not impacting that."
Bjorn Myseth ended the opening session by offering a short history and talk on the future of offshore cage farming. He went on to say that the structure of cages and nets were the hardest part of the offshore farming system, in addition to other issues that require consideration, such as sea lice problems, fish escapes from nets and resulting long-term genetic changes to wild populations. When introducing species that could be farmed offshore, he focused on the challenge of where to get juveniles, and stated that hatcheries and nurseries producing and offering juveniles will be key in the future.
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