By the time you read this, we will have held Aquaculture America 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada, along with our partners — the US Aquaculture Society, a chapter of the World Aquaculture Society; the National Aquaculture Association; and the Aquaculture Suppliers Association. This year’s AA18 was hosted by the California Aquaculture Association. I’d like to thank all our sponsors and tradeshow participants but particularly our premier sponsors — Tyson Foods, Inc., Animal Nutrition Group; Zeigler; Blue Aqua®; and Darling Ingredients. Our conferences are truly a group effort with a diversity of contributors. Let’s not forget what makes our conferences great and that is our participants. Thank you for our conferences being a very productive place to learn, make new connections and re-engage with the old connections and friends. I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming conferences: APA18 Taipei, Taiwan (April 23-26) and AQUA 2018 Montpellier, France, August 25-29. AQUA 2018 will be our joint meeting with the European Aquaculture Society (EAS).

Yesterday, I participated in a day-long leadership training using the Emergenetics® profile. First, I am not promoting this particular company but rather to point out that, through this training and self-awareness, I realize that we are all different with our strengths and preferences. Each of us is important and can contribute to the greater whole, especially when we recognize our differences, build upon these strengths and turn our non-preferences into skills.

Our conferences, committees, and boards depend on the contributions of our membership. Each of you has a role to play and can contribute to the success of our society, research, outreach and industries. WAS needs your input! Please find a way to contribute to your chapter, conferences, committees and boards. If you are not happy with the services provided or have a big idea, please do not go unheard. We, WAS, and I need to hear your thoughts and get you involved.

Speaking of WAS services, we are constantly working to improve World Aquaculture magazine and the Journal of World Aquaculture, which is still in its ‘reinvigorating’ process. I greatly appreciate the dedicated work of Dr. Carole Engle, the JWAS editorial board and our reviewers in this process. We continue to encourage scientists and students to choose JWAS for publication of their best quality research work. Be on the lookout for Special Virtual Issues of JWAS that make collections of papers published in JWAS available as open access (free) for one month following the Plenary of each WAS chapter conference. A recent Special Virtual Issue was a “Focus on Aquaculture Research in Latin America” that celebrated the opening of the Latin American and Caribbean Aquaculture 2017 conference in Mazatlan, Mexico. The next one was posted on the JWAS website to coincide with Aquaculture America 2018 and will include recent papers published by U.S. authors.

A significant benefit of membership in the World Aquaculture Society is free access to all papers published in JWAS, including all back issues. Members can access JWAS by first logging in to the WAS website and then selecting “View Articles” under the “Journal of WAS” heading on the Publications tab. The latest Editor’s Choice papers for each issue and Special Virtual Issues, available as open access, can be found at: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1749-7345. JWAS news is also available on Facebook (www.facebook.com/JWrldAquaSoc/) and Twitter (twitter.com/JWrldAquaSoc). So, please take advantage of these opportunities to access high quality research.

In addition to our conferences, WAS seeks to engage with global organizations and national aquaculture associations and related groups. WAS is currently exploring opportunities to enhance efforts in Africa as our chapters engage nationally or regionally. We continue to encourage the development of an African chapter and hope to see this come to fruition in the near future. Our colleagues in Africa are excited about this opportunity and it is a great chance for WAS to become even more international in its membership and conferences. Let’s keep the momentum going!

Finally, our 50th anniversary is around the corner in 2019 where we celebrate our vibrant past and bright future. If you have ideas or want to contribute, please contact Dr. Craig Browdy or me. We hope to have more details about these events soon. We will kick things off at AQUACULTURE 2019 (March 6-10) in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, where the first official conference was held, and keep the celebration going around the globe at our chapter conferences. These are currently scheduled for Asian Pacific Aquaculture 2019 in Chennai, India, June 19-22, and LACQUA 2019 in San Jose, Costa Rica, November 19-22. Mark your calendars and plan to be engaged in its planning and participation. I hope to see you at one of our conference in the very near future. — Bill Daniels, President