Monday, June 30, 2014

30/06/2014: Creating and nurturing growth through 'Aquaculture without Frontiers'

by Roy Palmer, IAF Contributor

"We have had an exciting couple of months at Aquaculture without Frontiers (AwF).

"A focus was our great program of presentations at our session, 'Development, Welfare and Poverty Alleviation (AwF)', at World Aquaculture Adelaide 2014 (WAA14) on June 11, 2014. 

"We have had the whole session recorded and the video will soon be on the website. The session, was sponsored by World Aquaculture Society (WAS) Premier Sponsor, Tyson Foods Inc, one of the world’s largest food suppliers as well as a leader in hunger and disaster relief.

"The session had speakers from Nigeria, India, Brazil, Seychelles, USA, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Australia and covered a myriad of issues and case studies across the continents.

"Of course Brazil has been very much in the spotlight lately so it was good to see that we had four presentations covering small scale fish farming, the development of producers co-ops, production of Native Oysters and an overview of aquatic solutions to hunger and malnutrition in that country.

"Solutions to poverty alleviation do not necessarily have to focus on creating food but can be about jobs, livelihoods and hope and the Indian presentation especially took us down this path.

"As usual this was a fascinating session, as AwF sessions tend to be, highlighting how many good people there are trying to solve these monumental problems.

"I gave an update on the latest information on AwF, including the promotion of the new Corporate Social Responsibility platform, the planned Memorandum of Understanding with the African Association of Agricultural Economists and the opportunities that will bring and invited people to stay to have a general meeting to discuss other future directions of AwF. One stand out was the prospect of the prospect of Aquaculture Learning Centres in Sri Lanka.

Silent Auction & Photo Competition
"At the Trade Show of WAA14 we held a ‘Silent Auction,’ which was our main focus for promotion and fund raising during the event. We are very grateful for the AwF volunteers who were encouraging people and companies to bid on a range of 11 items we had to auction, which included:
  • 3 framed photographs which were prize winners of the photograph competition run by International Aquafeed – thanks to the sponsors of the activity for their generosity in enabling us to have the photos.
  • Diploma in Aquaculture (Training to be provided) 
  • Books
  • Adelaide Crows indigenous football jumper and Conference polo shirts

"We have acknowledged the generous item donors on the website and thank them and the purchasers for their great contribution to the total amount raised – Aus$2420. Thank you also to the many people who helped set up and run the auction. There was some frantic last minute bids as many people entered into the spirit of the activity.

"We have kept a small amount of this money in Australia as hope to have AwF registered as a charity and this will be used to establish the bank account.

"At the moment the Silent Auction funds are just going into the general account but recently we were contacted by Prof. Gideon ‘Gidi’ Hulata, Dept. of Poultry and Aquaculture, Institute of Animal Science, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center in Israel as he is retiring and was keen to ensure that his Aquaculture library went to a deserving cause.

"We have 15 new volunteers who have registered since May 18, 2014 and we continue to build and maintain our listings. Thank you to those who have made this commitment.

"Our Volunteer Coordinators, Cormack O’Sullivan (Canada) and Ignacio Llorente Garcia (Spain), are doing a great job and we have just announced that we are expecting a large number of opportunities for volunteers to contribute in the very near future.

"Kevin Fitzsimmons, previous AwF President, is currently in Bangladesh developing volunteer projects and in the following weeks he will be Myanmar and Nepal.

"The current thought is that we will be looking for 30 volunteers per year, 10 for each of Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal, for next five years. In this case there is a restriction that all volunteers will need to be US-based as funds are coming from USAID and we need to meet their specific criteria.  

"Anyone interested should be registered in AwF database so we can match expertise with specific requirements of the program.  

"For these roles the volunteer trips tend to be ten to twenty days in length, with a few shorter and some much longer. All expenses are covered by USAID in advance or reimbursed once the paperwork is organised.

"We will provide more details for the AwF website in coming weeks."

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