Event News

More than 1,400 attendees at Aquaculture Europe 2021

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Aquaculture Europe 2021 (AE2021) was held from October 4-7 in Madeira, Portugal and was attended by more than 1,400 participants from 57 countries. Two hundred and forty-eight students attended with 943 abstracts and 383 Eposters presented, and 80 companies showcased at the trade show to present their products and services to the sector, including a special pavilion of Portuguese companies presented by the Ministry of the Sea.

Special sessions and workshops were also organized during AE2021, including Mediterranean aquaculture integrated development – the final workshop of the EU Horizon 2020 MedAID Project with the collaboration of PerformFish, the EU Blue Invest Day – a forum for innovation and investment for aquaculture within the EU Green Deal – and workshops organized by the EAS Thematic Group on percid fish culture, the Mediterranean Aquaculture Product Environmental Footprint Stakeholders event and the HiSea demonstration of high-resolution water quality data services. 

The EAS Award for Distinguished Service was presented to Gavin Burnell for his commitment to EAS, spanning over two decades as a board member and as president of EAS from 2018-2020. 

The opening plenary was delivered by video by Shakuntala Thilsted, Value Chains & Nutrition research leader, WorldFish, Malaysia. Her wide ranging overview of the Diversification of aquatic food systems: Oceans of Opportunity for nourishing nations perfectly framed the importance of aquaculture for nutrition, health and livelihoods throughout the world, with key messages for stakeholders in general and especially policy makers and legislators.

The plenary on day 2 was equally fascinating, with Pedro Encarnação, Aquaculture Director of the Jerónimo Martins Agri-business – Portugal’s leading supermarket and food business – presenting their strategy of vertical integration in the supply chain, going from farm to the grocery store and developing projects of circular economy, using the food waste from supermarkets to produce insect meal that can be used to feed our fish production. He gave several case studies of aquaculture production and projects that will allow JMA to place production close to markets so as to increase the freshness of the fish and reduce the carbon footprint, thus satisfying consumer demand for fish in Portugal and raising the profile of farmed fish to consumers.

The final plenary was a co-production from Laurie Hofmann (live) and Gesche Kause (video), both of the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Germany. Their innovative presentation focused on how the required transformative change to address problems such as climate change or global biodiversity loss for sustainable food security can be achieved in aquaculture by shifting from ocean illiteracy to societal literacy. Creating narratives around the social dimensions and the contextual societal priorities of sustainable food security is how this can be achieved and interdisciplinary exploration of creating narratives for sustainable marine food systems using the growing industry of seaweed aquaculture was presented and explained by Laurie as a case study.

The final of the AE2021 Student Spotlight Award had three finalists, Dean Porter of the University of Aberdeen, Sandra Ramos-Júdez of IRTA in Spain and Rafaela Santos of CIIMAR/CIITAB in Portugal. Each had three minutes to present their work and the winner was voted by the plenary audience of more than 700. The winner was Rafaela Santos for her presentation Quorum-quenching Bacillus spp., which can protect fish from Edwardsiella tarda infection and modulate the immune system of gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata). EAS president, Herve Migaud, presented Rafaela with a cash prize of €300 to complement the €300 already given to each of the finalists for their achievement in being selected.

The final plenary session ended with the presentation of the AE2021 Poster Awards. The AE2021 Best Student Poster Award went to Laura Ballesteros Redondo, University of Rostock, with co-authors Harry W. Palm, Lukas Reiche and Adrian A. Bischoff for their poster entitled Apocyclops panamensis as live feed for Sander lucioperca larviculture.

The AE2021 Best Poster Award was presented to Paulo Gavaia, University of Algarve, Marisa Barata, Catarina Oliveira, Ana C. Mendes, Florbela Soares, Pedro Pousão-Ferreira and Elsa Cabrita for their poster entitled Skeletal deformities in aquaculture-produced greater amberjack Seriola dumerili.

The awardees were presented a cash prize of €300 and a voucher by Springer (publishers of the EAS journal, Aquaculture International) to select a publication from their collection.

The next conference will be held in Rimini, Italy from September 27-30, 2022.

 

Photo caption: Finalists of the AE2021 Student Spotlight Award. From left to right: Dean Porter, Rafaela Santos (winner), Sandra Ramos-Júdez and EAS president Herve Migaud. Photo credit: Ana Viskovic, EAS Communication Coordinator.

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