World Aquaculture Society - Cape Town, South Africa. Day 1.
The WAS event is one of those with multiple streams of presentations offered in parallel, so some work needed in advance to plan which session (and room) to be in and when. After the opening plenary reflecting on the importance of aquaculture to global food security, delegates dispersed to sessions as diverse as Fish Health, culture of Ornamental species, Tilapia and Abalone. I chose a session on Climate Change - although interesting the presentations were mainly on small scale case studies, would have been good to have more on the broader trends and likely impacts.
There was also an opportunity to look around the Exhibition, with several international companies present and an interesting stand covering government support for aquaculture in South Africa.
It was also interesting to see the high percentage of African delegates - in some way to be expected given the location but also a good sign that the continent is taking aquaculture seriously. This impression was confirmed by a panel session offered by the Dutch Aquaculture Experts consortium, a group of companies and research institutes offered support to aquaculture development. With names like Skretting and Wageningen University in the consortium, it is clear the opportunity for growth in Africa is significant.