Friday, September 22, 2017

22/09/2017: AE2017 - "Cooperation for growth"

 The AE2017 event to be held in Dubrovnik, Croatia from October 17-20 is proving to her very popular. More than 700 abstract have been received for the 350 oral slots available in the scientific programme. All trade show booths have been sold and additional space has been created to house additional stands and posters. Participation is expected to be more than 1000. 

 Cooperation for growth
 One of the factors that may contribute to the lack of growth in the aquaculture sector is the lack of cooperation between operators in the sector. This may be regarding production (breeding programmes, feed resources, benchmarking technical performance...), promotion and market intelligence or training and knowledge management, including open access publications. 

 Turning policy into growth can be achieved through diminishing competitive forces through common actions using regional cooperation, task forces, public/private partnerships and other initiatives that help to reduce conflicts. AE2017 will address these aspects through the thematic sessions of AE2017 – and these will be further explored through the parallel and poster sessions of the conference and in the international trade show and Industry Forums.

 Conference plenary sessions

  • "Is substitution compromising our omega 3 (DHA) position?” - Professor Michael A Crawford, PhD, FRSB, FRCPath, Imperial College, London. As we look to replace more and more fish meal and fish oil (for sustainability requirements) and replace them with terrestrial plants, the DHA content of farmed fish had also declined. Furthermore, arable land use has reached its limit and in many places the available area is in decline. Meeting the nutritional needs for population growth will require prioritising arable land for high yielding crops for human consumption and not to feed fish, hence the development of marine agriculture is a must.
  • “Large scale RTD facility to take tuna farming forward” - Fernando de la Gándara, Researcher at the IEO (Spanish Institute of Oceanography) and Director of the Murcia Oceanographic Center. The Atlantic Bluefin tuna is an emblematic species that has fed Mediterranean human populations for centuries. Over the last two decades, its wild stocks have been severely overfished, with high quota limits leading to consequent reduction of the production. In order to satisfy high market demand, it is essential to increase bluefin tuna production coming from sustainable aquaculture where the whole biological life cycle is managed. The Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) has recently built a land-based large-scale facility (ICRA) for the control of the reproduction of this species, capable of hosting big size breeders. This facility is near the already existing IEO Aquaculture facility in Mazzaron, (Murcia, SE Spain), devoted to the research on Atlantic Bluefin tuna larval rearing and juvenile production.
  • “Gene editing. A game changer for aquaculture?” - Anna Wargelius, Institute of Marine Research, Bergen. Gene editing has been hailed as a ‘major breakthrough’ in human medicine, with its ‘pros and cons’ widely published in scientific and general press. But what are the uses of gene editing in plant science and how have these benefited production of food crops? What is the potential for aquaculture and what are the main lines of work that are being researched at present? The term ‘biotechnology’ is often intrinsically linked to ‘ethics’ and this “duo” plenary will also present the ethical considerations that we must consider as we assess if and how best to adopt this as a potential game-changer for aquaculture.
 Industry Forums and special sessions 

 Wednesday 18. Industry Forum: A stable supply of robust native oyster juveniles – identification and prioritisation of gaps and challenges.
 This Industry Forum, organised by the EAS Thematic Group on Flat Oysters, will bring together scientists and producers to address some of the principal bottlenecks and husbandry issues that are limiting the potential to bring back this native European species, so highly prized by connoisseurs and consumers. It will provide a forum for knowledge exchange and the sharing of best practices. Target audience: scientists and flat oyster producers from across Europe.

 Thursday 19. Special session: Blue Fin Tuna: Cooperation for Growth
 This special session will look at the evolution of tuna farming in the Adriatic and Mediterranean as it moves from fattening to farming. The morning session will present the latest scientific findings addressing breeding, larval rearing, nutrition and health and the afternoon session will bring together a panel of tuna experts to look forward and to work together. Target audience: scientists and especially all tuna farms in Adriatic and Med.

 Friday 20. Cooperation in Mediterranean Aquaculture: A Croatian Perspective
 This special AE2017 Industry Forum will discuss why aquaculture in the Mediterranean has not progressed significantly over recent years and look into some of the issues that are inhibiting growth through two recently funded Horizon 2020 projects, Performfish and MEDAid. It will debate the main outcomes and tangible results in several areas, including nutrition, health, welfare, breeding and market.

 Student Workshop 
 Organised by the EAS Student Group and followed by a student reception, the AE2017 Student Workshop is called “A scientist, a producer and a student walk into a bar". The workshop aims to help students of all levels to understand what their possible next step is within the Aquaculture sector and how to prepare for it.

 Other events

 Tuesday 17th (pre-AE2017) EAS Thematic Group EPFC - New skillsets in Percid Fish Culture.
 Bringing together all those with an interest in the culture of pike-perch, perch and other species of the family percidae for human consumption, stocking and conservation. The workshop title is: "New skillsets in Percid Fish Culture" and will pertain to the latest achievements in skills and competencies required for successful percid fish culture. The workshop starts at 12.00 and closes at 18.00 in time to attend the opening ceremony of Aquaculture Europe 2017. More at

 Wednesday 18. COLUMBUS Brokerage Event
 The ongoing Horizon 2020 initiative COLUMBUS is pioneering a new technique to better understand how to optimise the use of knowledge derived from research. Through a process of identification of Knowledge Outputs (KOs), it is developing transfer pathways to facilitate each step of the process to increase the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and assist and support researchers to bring this knowledge to market.
 This session will introduce this new technique and present several aquaculture case studies that are currently going through the process. The presence of COLUMBUS partners in the AE 2017 COLUMBUS Stand and transfer experts during the rest of the AE2017 event will allow scientists that have potential products in their Knowledge Outputs to look further into the transfer pathway and receive advice and accompaniment to pursue their ideas.

 Croatia and Dubrovnik 
 Most people think of Croatian aquaculture being based on sea bass and sea bream. With its long and beautiful coastline, this is indeed true and these species make up about two thirds of the total marine production of 12,000 tonnes in 2015. But more than 2,500 tonnes of Atlantic bluefin tuna, small volumes of dentex, meagre and turbot and 800 tonnes of shellfish (Mediterranean mussels and European flat oysters) were also produced last year. The freshwater farming segment primarily produces common carp and rainbow trout, representing over 50% and about 30%, respectively, of the total fresh water production of 4,800 tonnes. Small volumes of silver carp, bighead carp, catfish, tench, pike, and zander are also farmed.

 The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dubrovnik needs no introduction to tourists or to Game of Thrones fans! Its history as a trade centre in the Adriatic and as a model of wealth and skilled diplomacy means that it is an ideal location for our Aquaculture Europe event—and for the theme of AE2017. The event will be held at the fantastic VALAMAR resort, with three hotels and associated meeting rooms providing an excellent working and social environment. We very much look forward to welcoming you to Croatia next month!

Online registration, click here. 

To find out more click here

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