Since my last President’s column, Aquaculture America 2018 was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, with the strong support of our partners the US Aquaculture Society, the National Aquaculture Association and the Aquaculture Suppliers Association. This year’s AA18 was hosted by the California Aquaculture Association. Despite the cold and often windy weather, AA18 was another success with 2,078 participants from 61 countries and 732 oral and poster presentations. APA18 Taipei, Taiwan (April 23-26) has also concluded with 1890 participants from 48 countries and 445 oral and poster presentations. Thanks to those who participated in making these great successes. Let’s keep the momentum going with another great meeting in Montpellier, France with AQUA 2018 (August 25-29). AQUA 2018 will be our joint meeting with the European Aquaculture Society (EAS). If you can’t make it to France, then consider attending LACQUA18-Aquaculture for Peace in Bogotá, Colombia this October 23 - 26. These are great meetings to learn about the latest aquaculture discoveries and technologies, explore the tradeshow for new supplies and equipment, and make new friends and visit with old acquaintances. I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming conferences.

By the time you read this, the WAS elections will have concluded and new officers and directors will be preparing to begin their service at the meeting in Montpellier, France. While the parent society’s election will be complete, don’t forget that chapter nominations and elections occur at different times of the year. The Latin America and Caribbean Chapter will still have its nomination process open until June 15. Please take these elections seriously and make nominations for positions and then VOTE! Each chapter and the parent society have committees that do much of the work. Please take the time to volunteer and contribute within your chapter or WAS. Each of you has a role to play and can contribute to the success of our society! When you have concerns or ideas, express them to your WAS or chapter board.

As I found out recently, some of our members are not afraid to express their concerns. I particularly heard from our past presidents and WAS Fellows as well as other WAS members over concerns regarding the e-book and hard copies of “Design and Operation of Super Intensive, Biofloc-Dominated Systems for Indoor Production of the Pacific White Shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei — The Texas A&M AgriLife Research Experience”, which was originally published by WAS and have now been released to Dr. Tzachi Samocha and his co-authors for their own publication. As WAS President, I greatly appreciate the passion of our Past Presidents and Fellows and their willingness to stay engaged beyond their service. It’s that passion that drives the success of WAS.

In regards to the trademark/copyright infringement, I have tasked the Policies, Rules and Regulations Committee and the Publications Committee to work together with the editors of the Journal of World Aquaculture, World Aquaculture magazine, and WAS Books to develop policies on how to respond to trademark or copyright infringement claims that protect both WAS and the authors. As part of this review, I asked them to consider any policies that need to be changed to ensure authors do not put themselves in danger of copyright or trademark infringement claims or potential patent infringement. They will do this in consultation with our publishers. One of our lasting contributions to aquaculture is our publications that provide the science-based aquaculture information to the world.

One of the important benefits of your WAS membership continues to be that it comes with free online access to all issues of the Journal of the World Aquaculture Society (JWAS), including all back issues. JWAS is still in its re-invigoration phase, with an impact factor that has recently risen above 1.0. JWAS has published a Special Issue on Genetics and Breeding in Chinese Aquaculture (49/2; 2018). This issue is currently available online and contains papers on genetic advances of a wide variety of cultured fish and invertebrates. For those publishing in JWAS or World Aquaculture magazine, authors have the opportunity to be rewarded for best papers or articles. The 2017 Best JWAS Paper Awards and World Aquaculture magazine best article award were made recently. Congratulations to all!

We continue to encourage the development of an African chapter through a steering committee and hope to see this come to fruition in the near future. Dr. Kevan Main, WAS Past President, is providing advice as the WAS representative. Our Asian Pacific and Latin America and Caribbean chapters have also been sharing their experiences with the steering committee. We have strong support from NEPAD (the New Partnership for Africa’s Development) and the Aquaculture Association of Southern Africa (AASA) for formation of its secretariat for the first three years. They have drafted bylaws and are working on a business plan for its sustainability. Keep up the good work! We await the birth of a new regional chapter.

2Finally, our 50th anniversary is around the corner in 2019, when I will complete my term on the WAS board and a long engagement with the WAS and USAS boards. It will be a great time to celebrate our vibrant past and bright future. Fortuitously, 2019 will be the 25th anniversary of the Latin America and Caribbean chapter. Sounds like a fiesta is called for! If you have ideas or want to contribute your time to planning and preparation for the 50th celebration and LACC secretariat for their 25th, please contact Dr. Craig Browdy or me. We hope to have more details about these events soon. The WAS 50th will kick off at AQUACULTURE 2019 (March 7-11) in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, where the first official conference was held, and keep the celebration going around the globe at our chapter conferences. So, book your trip for New Orleans or Asian Pacific Aquaculture 2019 in Chennai, India, June 19-22, or LACQUA 2019 in San José, Costa Rica, November 19-22, or all three. I hope to see you at one of our conferences in the very near future. — Bill Daniels, President