June 21, 2021

President's Column June 2021

Dear aquaculture professionals around the world, many people have contacted me in the last couple of months asking about the format of our upcoming conferences. It is with great pleasure that I announce that, starting with Aquaculture America in San Antonio from 11-14 August, all our meetings will be in-person events. Although vaccination rates vary from country to country, the COVID-19 situation worldwide has improved considerably. Stay confident that all the required precautions will be taken in our meetings to ensure the safety of all participants by following all the indications and requirements of national and local health authorities. Please start making your travel plans. On behalf of the World Aquaculture Society Board of Directors and staff, I am looking forward to greeting you in person and meeting once again with longtime friends and colleagues.

World Aquaculture 2021, which will be organized in parallel with the meeting of the FAO Subcommittee on Aquaculture, in Merida, Mexico, has modified its dates to November 8-12. This event will be unique in many ways, as it will allow us to try some new additions to our world-renowned conferences in format and content. During the five-day event, we will be including an investment forum and several discussion panels organized in coordination with the FAO. I hope you enjoy the innovations that we are preparing for you, all of them with the sole purpose of improving the outcome for attendees with increasingly diverse backgrounds. To all international visitors, the conference would also provide amazing opportunities to tour around one of the most beautiful and culturally rich cities of Mexico, swim or dive in a cenote, have a boat ride surrounded by flamingoes, visit one of the new seven wonders of the world or travel a couple of hours and enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico. It is a great opportunity for everyone to finally come out and explore the world again.

I would like to use this opportunity to ask all our members and aquaculture enthusiasts to think outside the box and let us know how we can improve our communications skills. I was shocked to see how a recent, very unfortunate and misguided documentary on Netflix could affect public opinion and perceptions about aquaculture and seafood consumption. I know we are living in unprecedented times where opinions are sometimes more important than facts, but we definitely need to have a strong strategy to defend the industry that produces the most sustainable protein in the world: aquaculture. It is time that we start reaching broader audiences and letting them know about all the benefits of including seafood in their diets at least three times a week. I know that many of us have been trying to include aquaculture in the vox populi for many years, but I consider that we have failed outside the Asian continent. I encourage all our members, current and future, to participate with us, to generate ideas, to get involved. For most of the people that have dedicated their lives to aquaculture, it is a passion, a way of living. I hope more and more people join this passion and spread it.

Finally, I want to invite all our members to submit their articles to the Journal of the World Aquaculture Society (JWAS). As you know, in the last couple of years, JWAS has gone through a reinvigoration process led by Carole Engle, which has resulted in a continuous improvement of the journal quality and impact factor. Recently we became an Open Access journal and downloads of articles have increased by 250 percent. I want to congratulate our new JWAS Editor, Matt Slater, and all of the editorial team for continuing to improve the journal, which is a major part of our Society and benefit of membership, and encourage again as much participation by the membership as possible.

Join WAS, get involved, participate, send us your articles, help us communicate better. See you soon!!!
Antonio Garza de Yta, President

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About Dr. Antonio Garza de Yta

WAS President 2021 - 2022. Antonio Garza de Yta, a renowned international aquaculture professional, who holds a Masters degree and a Ph.D. in Aquaculture from the University of Auburn, USA. He is an aquaculture expert, FAO frequent consultant, as well as a specialist in strategic planning. Ex-director of Extension and International Training for the University of Auburn and creator of the Certification for Aquaculture Professionals in that academic institution.

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