Wednesday, December 20, 2017

the interview | Dr Guillaume Drillet is the President of WAS APC.

He has 15 years of experience working within marine sciences in the public and private sectors. Dr Drillet holds a Master degree on coastal resources’ management from France and a PhD from Denmark on the use of copepods as live feeds
Dr Drillet is the President of the World Aquaculture Society for the Asia Pacific Chapter (2016-2019). In addition to this work, he has also been teaching as an adjunct lecturer at Temasek Polytechnic (Singapore) and occasionally supports the International Maritime Organization in regional technical training programs on invasive species.
After APA17, he took over the role of President and will keep that role until next conference in Taipei.
He and his collaborators are working on the concept of same risk area for carrying out risk assessments of invasive species. It is expected that the results could be partially transposed to the development of risk management tools for aquaculture.





How have you seen attitudes change towards aquaculture over the past two decades?
In my early days, I had my hands in the cold waters of Brittany and Normandy (France) where I took a master degree in Aquaculture. I moved first to Florida State University (USA) and then Roskilde University (Denmark) to work on live feed for first feeding.
On this topic, I have seen a growing interest in the use of copepods and in general an improvement of first feeding protocols. The rates of survival of many species raised in aquaculture have gone up in the last two decades.
Aside from this, I have always advocated for environmental management and worked towards sustainability in our industry, because we cannot escape from this if we want to avoid disastrous results in the near future.

How could your research impact the way we use risk management in aquaculture?
Risk management comes after proper risk assessments.
Apart from a few very advanced production areas, our industry has been very traditional in managing the risk from so many potential hazards out there.
I would say that we tend to be waiting for problems to occur before planning contingency measures. This is primarily due to that our production is supported by many small holders who have difficulties to coordinate and channel their investments toward future challenges.
If our industry is to support the increase of food production by 70 percent globally in the next 30 years, we should seriously evaluate potential hazards and the risks they will pose when we intensify productions and transfer them to offshore areas.

How important do you think conferences such as APA are?
Without a single doubt, I would say that the APA conferences are excellent. WAS is offering a unique platform of opportunities for both the academics and the industrial players. It is a very fine mixture of science, technology and business.
I really enjoy looking at new opportunities and innovative approaches spinning off from these events. I am confident that WAS conferences will maintain their leading position in Asia.

What space do you think there is for training available in our industry?
Enormous! Education and training is the cornerstone of our sustainable growth. Within WAS-APC, I have committed to increase the number of workshops and events we are supporting because I do not see how WAS could support our industry without being present on the ground with expert sharing experience and knowledge.
Together with my colleagues, we decided to work on the development of serious games that can be used to transfer knowledge virtually anywhere and at a very limited cost. Education through video games is a great opportunity for our industry. It is not new, some years ago UNEP supported the development of Aqua Republica to learn about water management.
I believe that this approach will form a part of the future training of the masses.

What area in aquaculture do you think will be at the forefront of creating a sustainable food future?
Aside from Education, I would say that nutrition and feed formulation are probably forming one of the top pillars necessary for our industry to develop. We are already using fully our traditional resources (fish meals) and globally, we use more resources that earth can produce in a year, therefore we need to produce more with less.
We will succeed with a good understanding of fish nutrition and feed formulation, and we will use more and more exiting biomass that would normally be wasted or misused.
Yet, the efficient use of well-formulated feed to grow marketable fish will come hand in hand with technological improvements all along the supply chain, from production to transformation.

What can be done through aquaculture to help protect our natural resources?
Thinking long term, developing a vision on how we want to live 10, 20, 30 years from now. This is a challenge for everyone, across all industries. Yet, our industry as a whole has to take a series of measures to get this right if we want to be at the forefront of sustainable development.
I will keep advocating for this: Create the vision for future generation and support its implementation.
The questions is ‘how to support small holders in rendering their farm practices sustainable?’. I believe that this must come from strong governance.
Regulations must be science based, as global as possible and as enforced as possible. Developing aquaculture zone management programmes and sustainable initiatives with low credit funding will help efforts to meet sustainable objectives. It is not only a good option it is a necessity.

The APC region is the largest producer of aquaculture in the world; what sets it apart?
We are living in the Asian Century in that Asia’s growth and development potential is enormous, yet we are living in a global world more than ever and security has to be thought of globally.
I believe that Asian governments will adjust their policies where necessary to ensure security for all in a sustainable future. The aquaculture sector, like other sectors will adjust to the needs we have globally; this will secure the long term positioning of Asian Aquaculture.
I am strong supporter of sustainability and I am not afraid of change. I can see that some global leaders are still skeptical about what sustainable development requires in term of mind set changes, leadership style, and lifestyle changes.
I believe that we will succeed in ensuring a safe planet for the generations to come by taking these steps; we will adjust our behaviour faster than any generations before simply because we do not have a choice, if we want a safe world for future generations.

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