September 15, 2019

President's Column September 2019

The WAS Election process is now complete. Dr. Antonio Garza de Yta, Rector at Universidad Tecnológica del Mar de Tamaulipas Bicentenario, Mexico is the new President-elect and will serve a one-year term before rising to President. Dr. Reginald Blaylock, Assistant Director, Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center, University of Southern Mississippi, was elected Treasurer and will serve a two-year term. Professor Marco Saroglia, University of Insurbia in Varese, Italy is a new Director and will serve a threeyear term. Also elected to a Director position with a three-year term was Dr. Guillaume Drillet, Regional Business Development Manager, SGS in Singapore. On behalf of the Society, I want to thank Dr. Wendy Sealy (past Treasurer) and Dr. Darryl Jory (past Director) for their years of service. I look forward to working with our newly elected officers and directors.

At this writing, elections for the African and Latin American and Caribbean Chapters are nearing completion. I urge Society members to actively support the election process of the chapters and the parent society. Only 15-18 percent of WAS members vote in elections and we would like to see a much higher participation rate.

The Asian-Pacific Aquaculture 2019 meeting held in Chennai, India was a success, with 3,507 participants from 67 countries. A special thanks to Steering Committee Co-Chairs Dr. S. Felix and Dr. Farshad Shishehchian and the 18 committee members for their hard work. The Program Committee chairs organized 74 sessions and 333 poster presentations. The trade show had 222 booths. WAS Executive Director John Cooksey and his management team, along with support from WAS Home Office staff Carol Mendoza and Judy Andrasko are to be congratulated as well. I urge you to visit the WAS website to see video highlights of APA 19.

The Society is eagerly awaiting the next two chapter conferences. LACQUA19 will be the 2019 annual meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean Chapter and will be held November 19-22, 2019 in San José, Costa Rica. San José will be the site for the WAS Board of Directors midyear meeting and I look forward to seeing the WAS Board, the LACC Board, and members in beautiful Costa Rica! Aquaculture America 2020 will be held February 9-12, 2020 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Abstract deadlines for the Hawaii meeting are almost here!

A colleague recently mentioned that it was his opinion that a president of another professional organization had “floated” through their term. When asked to explain, he stated that the organization was in about the same condition as when the president took office. It is difficult to make changes to an organization like ours within one presidential term. The president doesn’t make motions and can’t vote unless there is a tie. Yes, he or she can appoint certain committee chairs and urge them to focus on certain tasks already specified in the bylaws, but eventually the officers and directors must approve any changes. Major changes would require a vote by membership and typically there is only one chance per year to get that done.

Any organization that is 50 years old could probably benefit from a few upgrades. The World Aquaculture Society is in great shape and continues to excel in almost every aspect of its mission. Soon, you will get a chance to see the World Aquaculture Society 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. I encourage you to read it and think about what you want out of your organization.

I promise you that I will attempt to not “float” through my term. However, I challenge you to not float through your membership year. Do something positive to improve the Society – vote, run for office, nominate someone for an award, encourage a student or a fellow farmer to join, provide input to the Board, submit an article to the journal or magazine. Let’s compare notes in mid-2020 and see how we did.
— Jimmy L. Avery, President

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About Jimmy L. Avery

WAS President 2019-2020 - A WAS member since 2000, I have served on the USAS Board of Directors and as USAS Chapter Vice-President and President. From 2011-2014, I served on the WAS Board of Directors and Chair of the Publications Committee and Magazine Sub-committee and led searches for Journal Editor, Book Editor, and Magazine Editor. While most of my aquaculture career has been spent in the United States, aquaculture activities have also allowed me to visit Canada, Germany, the Czech Republic, Viet Nam, and Australia.

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