World Aquaculture 2017 Keynote Speaker Profiles

DR SLOANS CHIMATIRO has played a leading role in formulation of fisheries and aquaculture policy and governance programmes for the African Union. He has been instrumental in building African research institutions and networks in support of fisheries and aquaculture development, and influential in raising ‘the African voice’ at international fisheries and aquaculture forums. He is currently Programme Manager: Fish Trade at the World Fish Centre, Zambia, where he is responsible for the a Pan-African Fish Trade Research Program, aimed at generating evidence to inform intra-regional fish trade in Africa. He has worked as a manager for a number of development programmes at regional and continental levels; and advising national fisheries institutions, as well as Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Fisheries Bodies (RFBs) on issues of fisheries and aquaculture development. As Senior Fisheries Advisor to the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, he was responsible for the NEPAD Fisheries and Aquaculture Action Plan in 2005 that was endorsed by African Union Heads of State and Governments during the Abuja Summit in August 2005, as a precursor to the current AU Fisheries Policy. Between 2006 and September 2014, he was the Head of Fisheries at NEPAD, where he was responsible for (i) the development of the African Union Policy Framework & Reform Strategy (or the Common African Union Fisheries Policy); and (ii) assisting African countries to design and implement fisheries policy and governance reforms in order to enable the sector to contribute towards the 6% CAADP annual growth target. Program Manager for FishTrade Program, he coordinated the development of the Comprehensive African Fisheries Reform Strategy (CAFRS) for the African Union. Dr Chimatiro previously served as Director of Fisheries in Malawi.


TOM HECHT has played a lead role in the development of aquaculture in southern Africa in a career spanning research, policy, development and commercial involvement. He is an emeritus Professor of Rhodes University where he helped to position the Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science as a regional centre of excellence in aquaculture. Tom’s graduates (a remarkable 60 MScs and 28 PhDs) occupy key positions in aquaculture and fisheries in African countries and internationally. His extensive research outputs include pioneering work on African catfish and abalone culture. He has made extensive contributions to African aquaculture development including small farmer development in Malawi, a landmark review of African aquaculture for the FAO, and the establishment of the Aquaculture Association of Southern Africa. He is a former board member of the World Aquaculture Society. In recent years he has been active in aquaculture development and commercialization through Advance Africa (Pty) Ltd which is establishing a trout farm in the Lesotho Highlands and facilitating the formulation of a Marine Aquaculture Masterplan for the Seychelles.


GORJAN NIKOLIK is Senior Industry Analyst, Food & Agribusiness Research & Advisory at Rabobank International. Since joining Rabobank in 2005, Nikolik has been an industry analyst focusing on the global seafood sector including aquaculture, wild-catch, seafood trade and processing. In his primary role, he works as a senior sector expert to Rabobank departments such as Mergers and Acquisitions, Leveraged Finance, Venture Capital, Credit Risk Management and the Relationship Bankers. He is a regular speaker at global seafood and aquaculture conferences and has published research reports covering the seafood industry. He also has experience as a commodity analyst, having covered the sugar industry. Gorjan holds a Master’s degree in Finance and Business Administration from the University of Maastricht and an MBA from Maastricht School of Management.


ROHANA SUBASINGHE is a specialist in aquaculture development and aquatic animal health management. After 22 years of service, he retired from the FAO in late 2015, while serving as the Chief of the Aquaculture Branch. Since his graduation in 1980 from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, he has worked in all parts of the world. He joined FAO in 1994 and took responsibility for implementing projects on aquaculture and aquatic animal health at national, regional and international levels. Among others, at FAO he was also responsible for analyses of global trends in aquaculture development. He served as the FAO focal point for international and regional agencies involved in aquaculture and food security. A former teacher of the University of Colombo and the Universiti Putra Malaysia, Rohana earned his PhD from Stirling University. Rohana is a strong advocate of sustainable aquaculture and its significant contribution to poverty alleviation and food and nutrition security. His passion is to empower people engaged in small-scale aquaculture value chains. He supports responsible certification of aquaculture and is also responsible for developing the globally approved FAO technical guidelines on aquaculture certification. He served as the Technical Secretary to the Sub-Committee on Aquaculture of the Committee on Fisheries of the FAO, the only global inter-governmental forum on aquaculture, for 15 years, since its inception until his retirement. He spearheaded the development of a global partnership for aquaculture development in FAO, the Global Aquaculture Advancement Partnership (GAAP), particularly addressing the need for a concerted effort to ensure future aquaculture development will become increasingly socially acceptable, environmentally sustainable, and responsibly managed. Rohana is still contributes to the global aquaculture development agenda, as a freelance consultant.

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