By: Roy Palmer*
Following World Aquaculture Society (WAS) first successful meeting in 2005 in Bali, Asia Pacific Aquaculture (APA) 2016 (26 - 29 April)was the next chance for the WAS aquaculture community to visit Surabaya.
Indonesia is rapidly expanding its aquaculture industry – nearly 20% increase in the last 5 years in hectares in aquaculture production and over 50% per year increase in tons produced every year for the last 10 years!
The people flocked to the event which saw some 240 exhibition booths and eleven rooms of conferences over three crammed but exciting days at the Grand City complex in the centre of the large city. The numbers may well have been expected to be down a little on usual because of the clash with the Seafood Expo Global in Brussels but, primarily due to the local Indonesian support, WAS saw record numbers exceeding 5,500 people attend.
Additionally to the normal program of events The International Symposium on Tilapia in Aquaculture (ISTA) along with several special Industry sessions/workshops with the latest in practical knowledge for the Indonesian aquaculture producers were held attracting many of the domestic farmers. IndoAqua, Fita and 12th All Indonesian Young Koi Show were also included in this event.
WAS-Asian Pacific Chapter held its board meeting which will see a changing of the guard. The incoming President, Dr. Endhay Kusnendar Kontara, is a Senior Researcher at Research and Development Center for Aquaculture, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF). He has held several important positions at the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) during his time there and continues being a person of influence within Indonesia. Recently he was SEAFDEC Council Director for Indonesia and currently he is actively involved as member of the Indonesian National Research Council, Ministry of Research and Technology, and Geographical Indication Expert Team, Ministry of Law and Human Rights.
He is one of the founders and Vice President of the Indonesian Aquaculture Society (IAS) and is joined by new President Elect, Dr Guillaume Drillet. Dr. Farshad Shishehchian moves to Past President having been the major driver of many facets of the APC for the last period. Roy Palmer retires from the board after involvement in many achievements since 2008.
Dr Drillet received a Young Elite Scientist Award from the Danish Ministry of Independent research and is now based in Singapore working for DHI Water and Environment where he supported the development of the Ballast Water Technology and Innovation Center as well as the DHI Environmental Laboratories. He is currently Chairman of the important International Maritime Organization (IMO) committee on Ballast Water.
Both Dr. Patrick Sorgeloos (University of Ghent) and Dr. Endhay gave keynote presentations to the packed Grand City Hall at the Conference opening which followed the Welcome to Indonesia activities held on the previous evening.
In order for a country to achieve what Indonesia has over these past years you need a formula of a government that sets the governance, infrastructure and incentives to engage people in aquaculture coupled with industry groups that grasp the opportunities and in the background you need active service industries that supply education, equipment, feed and all the other ingredients. You can see in Indonesia that this is happening. Of course you also need to be blessed with geographic location and the Indonesian nation is made up of thousands of volcanic islands, known for its natural beauty with beaches, volcanoes and jungles sheltering elephants, tigers and Komodo dragons. It is a great recipe.
WAS-APC put on a great show in Surabaya and importantly engaged the students in a terrific session followed by a Students Reception which saw many talented young people engage and give a glimpse what could be to come for the burgeoning aquaculture industry in the future. Aquaculture competition, national dress competition, cat-walk competition and a talent show ensured that everyone had a great chance to ‘strut their stuff’ and benefit from the prize money on hand.
The next WAS-APC event in 2017 will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.