Norwegian aquaculture pioneer, Professor Trygve Gjedrem, has been recognized by the World Aquaculture Society (WAS) during the opening day of World Aquaculture Adelaide 2014 (WAA14).
The Society awarded Professor Gjedrem the Honorary Life Member Award for his pioneering contribution to aquaculture genetics research, the development of genetically improved and domesticated breeds of farmed fish and shellfish, and his enduring passion in seeing selective breeding implemented to improve the efficiency of aquaculture production around the world.
Outgoing President of WAS, Dr Michael Schwarz, said as a pioneer of fish genetic improvement, Professor Gjedrem is regarded by many in the aquaculture industry around the world as a father figure and a great mentor to younger scientists.
“Professor Gjedrem has been responsible for initiating the world’s first family based breeding program for fish, which has been viewed as the most important factor in the development of the salmon industry in Norway”, Dr Schwarz said.
“His work over the last 40-50 years has not only stimulated the growth of the Norwegian salmon industry, but also greatly benefited relatively poor rural communities in Asia and other parts of the world where genetically improved fish such as tilapia or carp are farmed.
“His findings act as a platform on which further advances continue to be built.”
“It is wonderful that Professor Gjedrem has been given this award as he is also a true gentleman.”
Professor Gjedrem has also been regarded as a driving force behind the development of several organisations committed to improving aquaculture around the world including Akvaforsk (now part of the of the Norwegian food research institute Nofima) and the International Association for Genetics in Aquaculture.
“To me, this has been very exciting, coming from farm animals and moving into genetics and selective breeding in aquaculture species,” Professor Gjedrem said in a video acceptance speech to the conference.
“Because of the big, big improvements which can be made, and we have shown it both in Tilapia, Atlantic Salmon, and Rohu Carp, it’s a different world for farmers to produce genetically improved fish.
“I hope that this development will continue and make aquaculture production much higher for the benefit of the world.”
In addition to the Honorary Life Members Award presented to Professor Gjedrem, three new aquaculture professionals were awarded as Fellows of the Society:
• Dr Wagner Valenti, from São Paulo University (Brazil), who pioneered Macrobrachium culture.
• Dr Tom Losordo, Principal Scientist at Pentair and Emeritus Professor, North Carolina State University (USA), who is a world leading aquaculture engineer.
• Dr Nigel Preston from CSIRO (Australia), where he is the Director, Food Futures Flagship, which has a breed engineering focus.
Incoming WAS President Graham Mair, who is from Adelaide, said that “I am particularly pleased that one of the Fellows was an Australian and was recognized primarily for contributions to Australian aquaculture”.