December 13, 2022

President's Column December 2022

What an event! World Aquaculture Singapore 2022 (WAS22), 29 Nov-2 Dec, was a fabulous return to a face-to-face international aquaculture conference in Asia. There were 3,592 people attending, representing 82 countries, and a technical program with over 400 presentations in 58 sessions. The Trade Show was impressive, with 264 booths, and a Singapore Pavilion as a centerpiece to highlight local producers, innovative technology, scientific capability and government agency research and development services.

Investments have been made and continue to be made in Singapore to maximize seafood production from the limited land and sea area available to aquaculture — all in support of Singapore's 30 by 30 goal — “to sustainably produce 30 percent of the nation's nutritional needs locally by 2030.” The whole exhibition area reflected the conference theme — Next Generation Aquaculture. Congratulations to all exhibitors and sponsors of the event.

On behalf of the Board of the World Aquaculture Society and society members, I thank the whole event team and the Steering Committee. I would particularly like to thank Dr. Leong Hon Keong, Dr. Farshad Shishehchian and Dr. Guillaume Drillet for co-chairing this event. Thanks to the Program Co-Chairs, to John Cooksey and his team for excellent conference management and to Mario Stael for bringing together the Trade Show. The leadership and team at the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) provided ongoing support of WAS22 through five years of planning and several disruptive date changes.

A highlight of WAS22 was the student program, with Student Spotlight presentations, a career development workshop, student reception and awards made for quality abstracts, presentations and posters. Well done to all students who participated in the conference. The WAS Student Activities Committee worked closely with the Asian Pacific Chapter Student Director to deliver valuable professional development opportunities for all students attending. Keep an eye out for more communication through social media about WAS student activities.

The WAS Board met for its mid-term meeting in Singapore, with a particular focus on reducing the environmental impact of some activities and on bolstering Society finances to ensure that we reduce expenditures and increase revenues. Now that conferences are being held regularly, the Board anticipates an improving financial position, and we are working toward the goal of rebuilding a buffer for a “rainy day” — a buffer that WAS previously held and was relied on to maintain Home Office operations and continue conference planning through the pandemic disruptions.

Discussions continue between FAO and WAS, developing ways to work together in sharing aquaculture knowledge with the international community. Dr. Matthias Halwart, Team Leader Sustainable Aquaculture – Global and Regional Processes team of the FAO, provided a plenary presentation at the conference entitled Aquaculture for Food Security and Sustainable Development.

Two WAS awards were presented at WAS22. Dr. Farshad Shishehchian was the 2020 Industry Impact award winner. Dr. Farshad has more than 30 years of dynamic, hands-on experience in the world’s top aquaculture-producing countries, managing aquaculture farms and hatcheries in different locations. His company is a one-stop solution provider for the aquaculture industry, with a global presence in 14 countries. He has established a regional professional network for sharing practical technical information about aquaculture.

Dr. Sungchul (Charles) Bai was named as a WAS Fellow at WAS22. Unfortunately, Prof. Bai was not able to be in Singapore in person, but he watched on WhatsApp. He has over 35 years of teaching, research and industry consulting experience, and he currently works as a professor at Pukyong National University. He has supervised many post-graduate students and contributed to more than 250 peer reviewed journal papers and books (or book chapter) publications, and more than 500 article presentations at national and international conferences. One of his nominees wrote — “Dr. Sungchul Bai, is exactly the type of person we want to recognize as a WAS Fellow. This applies to his body of professional work, his vast contributions to WAS, and to our hopes to have him as an institutional memory and guide for the future of WAS and the aquaculture industry.” There is so much to celebrate and to learn when WAS members and representatives of the aquaculture community come together.

— Jennifer Blair, President

Share this:

About Jennifer Blair

Jennifer Blair (formerly Cobcroft), has worked for over twenty years in marine fish farming, spanning science, technology and management within both research and private sectors. Her research has focused on hatchery production of difficult-to-rear marine finfish, including developmental biology, fish health and system design.

Gold Sponsors

Previous President's Columns

  • 2024

  • 2023

  • 2022

  • 2021

  • 2020

  • 2019

  • 2018

  • 2017

  • 2016

  • 2015

  • 2014

  • 2013

  • 2012

  • 2011

  • 2010

  • 2009

  • 2008

  • 2007

  • 2006

  • 2004