was

And finally, WAS IN MERIDA!

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by Antonio Garza de Yta, Ph.D. President, World Aquaculture Society (WAS)

After long waiting for a rescheduling and many fears faced, the World Aquaculture Conference WA2021 will finally take place in Merida, from May 24 to 27, 2022. I do not think I can put into words what this event means… Personally, it is the culmination of more than 20 years of a personal journey in the World Aquaculture Society, handed over the presidency in my country in an unbeatable setting… However, the remarkable fact is what this event means for Mexico.

After long waiting for a rescheduling and many fears faced, the World Aquaculture Conference WA2021 will finally take place in Merida, from May 24 to 27, 2022. I do not think I can put into words what this event personally means and what I think it represents for Mexico.

“It is the culmination of more than 20 years of a personal journey in the World Aquaculture Society.”

During that period, I handed over the presidency in my country in an unbeatable setting, surrounded by the people I love, marking the end of a stage and the beginning of new cycles I will be sharing with you.

However, the remarkable fact is what this event means for Mexico, which I would describe as the opening act that will lead to 4 main events. First, it states that Mexico has the competencies to continue thinking big.

Even though some actors try to suggest in many ways that we cannot, Mexicans know that we can achieve everything we propose in life through work and effort. It is possible!

“The consolidation of the Mexican Aquaculture Society (SOMEXACUA) is another remarkable event.”

After so many years, I believe that there will be an organization that represents the sector in a dignified way. The day will come when SOMEXACUA is constituted by partners who ask themselves how they can contribute to the aquaculture sector through the Society instead of only being interested in what the organization can do for them.

Today, when opinions are more important than scientific facts, we must be united and defend the aquaculture sector, what we do, and our view of the world and life through collaborative work. We must pursue goals with significant impacts on future generations.

Merida

We will also celebrate INAPESCA’s 60th anniversary, which I already wrote about in the previous edition. However, I do think it is still essential to highlight this point. The most important institution for fisheries and aquaculture in the country is going through times that threaten its existence, as unlikely as it might seem.

Once again, this risk enhances the importance of sticking together so that we not only avoid its disappearance but we’ll also achieve its strengthening.

On the other hand, within the framework of this event, we will be able to celebrate many of the Mexican aquaculture pillars.

“For the first time ever, the WAS-SOMEXACUA awards will be celebrated, with the aquaculture sector recognizing those who have put their sweat, effort, passion, and perseverance into building the aquaculture industry in Mexico.”

Four categories will be awarded: the ‘Karl Heinz Holtschmit’ award for Academic Trajectory, the ‘Eric Pedersen; award for Innovation and Development, the ‘Beatriz Eugenia Gómez Lepe’ award for Industry, and Productive Sector, and the ‘Margarita Lizárraga’ award for Governance, Dissemination, and Extension.

After so many years of absence multiple awards will be presented on this unique occasion. If there is a lesson learned from this pandemic is that we have to tell people today that we love them and let them know they are remarkable, instead of waiting for better opportunities that might never come.

“This is precisely what highlights the importance of celebrating this event today. Once this year’s accumulated awards are delivered, we’ll return to the regular ceremony with only one annual award per category.”

Unfortunately, I will have to close this column with sad news this time. I was recently notified that our friend Pedro Ulloa, INAPESCA’s partner in a thousand battles, lost his fight against cancer. Pedro, a life-loving person, being expert in fishing, always knew that the industry’s future was aquaculture…

We had that discussion thousands of times, and I know we will have it again someday. Rest in peace, my good friend, and keep on with fishing wherever you are… We will miss you.

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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