Aqua Nor 2009 - Tondheim, Norway
Aqua Nor - 3celebrating 30 years: August 18-21, 2009
In the autumn of 1979 a small exhibition took place in a corridor in the Nidarø Hall (now Trondheim Spektrum) in Trondheim. 23 companies had set up 18 stands to show their goods and services. The main event was a conference focusing on the production of smolt, and about 150 participants had convened. About half of these were fish farmers, the rest were from the authorities, from research institutions and from equipment and technology suppliers.
The Norwegian fish farming industry was in its infancy. The country's total production of farmed salmon had just reached 4,000 tonnes, and in addition they produced about 3,000 tonnes of large trout. The first aquaculture legislation had been passed in Parliament only six years earlier, in 1973. The responsibility for fish farming had been allocated to the Ministry of Fisheries. In 1978 the Fish Farmers Sales Organization (FOS) had been established, and FOS by law held the right to all first-hand sales of farmed fish.
The initiators of the conference and exhibition were men who played a central role in the industry: the fish farming pioneer Sivert Grøntvedt, who at the time served as Chairman of the Fish Farmers Association; Managing Director of the Fish Farmers Sales Organization Odd Steinsbø; and the Deputy Director of FOS, later head of Nor-Fishing Foundation, Odd Berg.
The exhibition itself did not have its own name in 1979, but already two years later, in 1981, it was organized as "Fish Farming ‘81". In 1983 there was growing interest in the exhibition, both in Norway and internationally. Salmon farming had been started on the Norwegian model in several countries, including Canada, Chile, New Zealand and Scotland. Peter Hjul, Editor of Fish Farming International, suggested that the exhibition should be launched as an international meeting place, and it was decided to give it the more international name "Aqua Nor".
Since then, Aqua Nor has grown into the largest aquaculture exhibition in the world. Already in 1981 there was so much interest that one had to find extra space for exhibitors. At the same time it was decided to alternate with the Nor-Fishing exhibition every other year, and to have the exhibition permanently in Trondheim.
Until now, 14 exhibitions have been organized in Trondheim, and this year's show will be the 15th. Aqua Nor 2007 had 485 exhibitors from 23 countries, and almost 15,000 visitors from 43 countries.
During the 30-year Jubilee Aqua Nor's organizers hope to attract as many exhibitors and visitors as in previous years in spite of the global financial crisis. So far it looks good, according the Project Manager Kari Steinsbø. At the end of February 2009, 75% of the space has been sold.
In connection with Aqua Nor 2009 there will be several international conferences and seminars held in in Trondheim: Aqua Nor 30th Anniversary Conference (20th August 2009); Aquaculture Europe 2009, the annual meeting of the European Aquaculture Society (14 - 17 August, 2009); International Aquaculture Biosecurity Coneference, (17 - 18 August, 2009).