Creating a long-term future for aquaculture

The theme for Aqua Vision 2008 is ‘Know the fundamentals — Create your future’
August 6, 2008

Creating a long-term future for aquaculture

In the twelve years since the first Aqua Vision, this event has established itself as a world-leading multi-stakeholder conference for the aquaculture industry. Every second year, top decision makers from aquaculture gather in Stavanger to debate the challenges facing the industry in its journey towards becoming a stable, reliable provider of fish as first class food. The next conference is 29 September – 1 October in Stavanger, Norway.

The Aqua Vision door is open to allstakeholders in the aquaculture value chain, whether they are associated with feed raw materials, retailing, food service, regulating or as non-governmental organizations with a keen interest in the environment. The result is consistently well-informed discussions reflecting a wide range of opinions. Feedback from delegates indicates that everyone leaves AquaVision with more knowledge and better understanding than when they arrived.

As ever, the main topics and liveliest debates will focus on the challenges facing aquaculture today. Foremost among these is the urgent need for aquaculture to fulfill its tremendous potential as a dependable provider of protein and other essential nutrients from many species of fish, not just salmon. The world population is growing. Incomes in emerging economies are taking people above subsistence levels. Fish is seen more and more as a healthy food. This combination of factors means an increasing demand for food in general and for fish in particular. Aquaculture has a vital role in meeting that demand.

At present, demand for food is outstripping supply. We are in a time of ‘agflation’. Competition for raw materials between food, fuel and feed is driving up prices, leading to more expensive feeds and foods and putting inflation back on the political agenda. Clearly, the era of cheap food is over.

In June this year, world leaders met at the Rome Summit to find a consensus on the global food security crisis. The Secretary General of the United Nations warned delegates we must increase the supply of food by 50 percent by 2030. He reported that over 850 million people were short of food before the crisis and that number is estimated to rise by a further 100 million, mostly in developing countries.

We in aquaculture can contribute to the answer. The function of the aquaculture industry is to supply the world with excellent quality, nutritious and safe food products in a sustainable manner. To do so, we need to address the remaining issues. Many are not new. The sustainability of feed raw materials, for example, is a theme that has been present at almost every Aqua Vision since the series began.

The theme for Aqua Vision 2008 is ‘Know the fundamentals — Create your future’.

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