As the World Aquaculture Society presence continues to increase globally, the success of our conferences also grows. After a very successful APA conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the LACQUA17 conference held in Mazatlán, Mexico in November brought over 1300 participants from over 35 countries with a tradeshow of 80 booths. During LACQUA17, Dr. Luis Andre Sampaio was installed as the new LACC president.

The success of these conferences depends upon our WAS members and our friends and supporters. If you haven’t already volunteered to help in organizing one of these conferences, please do so. Also, please mark your calendars and share the word about our upcoming conferences, starting with Aquaculture America 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada (February 19-22), 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). I hope you are as excited about these opportunities to meet old friends and make new ones and to increase your network for collaboration and information sharing.

In addition to our conferences, WAS has sent representatives as observers to two important FAO meetings, including the 29th Session of the European Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Advisory Commission (EIFAAC) held in Stare Jablonki, Poland (September 6-8, 2017). Mr. Laszlo Varadi was selected to represent WAS at this meeting. He is a WAS member from Hungary and past EAS president. Prior to EIFAAC, the Symposium “Adaptation of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture to Climate Change” was held. The session was attended by representatives of EIFAAC member countries from Croatia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland. Mr. Varadi spoke on possible interactions of the two organizations, particularly in the area of inland aquaculture in the Central and Eastern European region, where he also mentioned the Network of Aquaculture Centers in Central and Eastern Europe (NACEE) as a potential partner. The Chair pointed out that the presence of WAS at the 29th session of EIFAAC was evidence of a willingness to cooperate and is in line with EIFAAC objectives to engage other organizations. Members welcomed this new initiative to collaborate as a good sign and asked if WAS could assist in identifying operational focal points through their network of contacts in aquaculture-related institutions.

Dr. Antonio Garza de Yta, WAS Director and Past-President of LACC, represented WAS as an observer at the 9th Session of the Sub-Committee on Aquaculture of the Committee on Fisheries, which was held at FAO headquarters in Rome from 24-27 October 2017. More information will be provided on this meeting later. Participation in this and other international organizations’ meetings are important ways to contribute to sustainable aquaculture development and to expand the WAS network. It is important for our membership to actively engage in the global conversation about aquaculture and its sustainable development.

WAS continues with the reinvigoration of its scientific journal, the Journal of the World Aquaculture Society (JWAS). We continue to encourage scientists and students to choose JWAS for the publication of their best quality research work. Its success depends upon YOU! While the cliché in the USA these days is about ‘making it great again,’ the reinvigoration of JWAS is not a cliché but a concerted push to continually move JWAS to the top tier of aquaculture journals.

Be on the lookout for the Special Virtual Issues of JWAS that make collections of papers published in the Society’s journal available as open access (free) for one month following the plenary of the conferences of each WAS chapter. The most recent virtual issue was a “Focus on Aquaculture Research in Latin America” that celebrated the opening of the LACQUA17 conference in Mazatlán, Mexico. The next one will be posted on the JWAS website on February 19, 2018, to coincide with Aquaculture America 2018 and will include recent papers published by US authors.

A significant benefit of WAS membership is free electronic access to all papers published in JWAS, including all back issues. Members can access JWAS by first logging into 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, are available 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). Please like the Facebook page and keep up with the latest.

As Thanksgiving has recently passed here in the US, I am thankful for all the WAS members who actively work to keep WAS at the forefront of global aquaculture leadership. I am also thankful for the global network that WAS has become and look forward to that network spreading into new areas. During my recent visit to China on university business, I learned to appreciate the vastness of my aquaculture colleagues there and look forward to greater engagement by them and the rest of my global colleagues and friends. Our 50th anniversary is around the corner in 2019. We have such a vibrant past and so much room to grow. — Bill Daniels, President