Aquaculture Canada 2015: Blue Revolution 2.0

Jul 13, 2015 1:40 PM ET

The Aquaculture Association of Canada (AAC) held it’s 31st annual conference at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo from May 31 to June 3, 2015. The BC Salmon Farmer’s Association was involved in a big way as a top sponsor, encouraging member participation from both the producer and service sectors of the industry.

The long-running conference is held in a different Canadian city each year, and brings together researchers, producers, suppliers, First Nations, and government agencies. This year was no different. AAC president Kathy Brewer-Dalton welcomed over 300 delegates from across Canada and around the world, who were eager to discuss the latest technologies, management approaches, research and prospects for the sector’s future in Canada.

Aquaculture Canada: Blue Revolution 2.0, spoke to the evolution of Canada’s aquaculture sector, within the context of the global aquaculture community, and forecasted future demand for sustainable seafood. For the first time in global history, the consumption of farm-raised seafood has surpassed that of captured wild seafood, with demand is continuing to rise at close to 10% per year.

Conference delegates were fortunate to hear from Alfe-Helge Aarskog, CEO of Marine Harvest ASA, as keynote speaker presenting on Leading the Blue Revolution. The conference also featured two plenary speakers: Wally Stevens of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, USA, speaking on Responsible Aquaculture and Global Markets, and Dr. Jake Rice of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, speaking on Sustainable Aquaculture and the Ecosystem Approaches. There was no shortage of learning, as over 100 speakers were featured in 13 different sessions discussing topics ranging from Fish Health, Environmental Management, Genomics, First Nations, Wild-Farmed Interactions and Marketing, among many more.

In addition, an innovative new program, Aquaculture in the Classroom – A Day of Discovery, was added to the conference curriculum as a creative way to educate high school students and teachers on the significance of the aquaculture industry in B.C./Canada, its people and their careers through hands-on experiences with industry representatives. To create a more interactive and memorable experience, participants were given the opportunity to create an iMovie answering the question: “Why is Aquaculture Important” and cash prizes were presented to the top three submissions, which can be viewed on YouTube.

Aquaculture Canada 2015 not only provided attendees with ample learning opportunities, but it also offered a number of special social events, including the opening President’s Reception, the Dr. Joe Brown Memorial BBQ and the closing Gala dinner - all of which featured Coast Fresh salmon raised by BCSFA members. All in all, these were incredible networking opportunities for old friends and new acquaintances alike.