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We have to strengthen regional cooperation. Will the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) be able to set an example?

We have to strengthen regional cooperation. Will the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) be able to set an example?

WAS
CARGILL
Cargill Empyreal75
REEF
ISFNF
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GLOBAL LEADERS

Visitas: 17

Ph.D. Antonio Garza de Yta

While all regions should consolidate their national and regional organizations, in the Gulf Cooperation Community (GCC), it is imperative to generate much more meaningful cooperation. This is crucial to generate both the critical mass and the ecosystem for this effort to crystallize. Is it time to create the GCC or Mena Chapter of the WAS?

In the past, when we discussed aquaculture events, the first or only thing that came to mind were the annual events of the World Aquaculture Society (WAS). These events, which took place all over the world, presented the most innovative works of the different species and branches of aquaculture. They also provided an opportunity to meet and interact with leading experts in the field.

The landscape of aquaculture has become more complex. There are now numerous regions around the globe where aquaculture research and development is taking place, including countries outside of the United States and Europe. Additionally, numerous countries have adopted aquaculture as a means of driving economic growth and food security.

“Finally, there is a vast network of aquaculture professionals spread across the globe, and over the past five decades, aquaculture has experienced remarkable growth.”

Today, the WAS represents approximately 0.02% of the people involved in the activity. We can see that a large part of its participants are aging and retiring at a faster pace than they can be replaced by a new generation involved with the Society. While it is true that the impact of the pandemic on the WAS’s finances was significant, as evidenced by the poor event in San Antonio, it is also true that the format has remained unchanged since the last century.

Despite numerous proposals for format changes and new dynamics, they have not been able to be implemented permanently. The WAS must recognize that those who do not evolve will become extinct. Although it has the most important brand in the world, Kodak was in a similar position at a certain point in its history.

On the other hand, I was pleased to have participated in the SIMEC event in Saudi Arabia earlier this year. I had not expected much, but I left with a positive impression. All stakeholders were taken into account at this event. A significant focus was placed on B2B relations, with private sessions and lunches organized for registrants and exhibitors.

“This contributed to a notable increase in the participation of the productive sector, which was a fundamental and central part of the event. This event was reminiscent of the highly successful AquaNor (Norway), AquaSur (Chile) and AquaExpo (Ecuador) events, which are developed in a similar way. There has also been a notable increase in aquaculture events in many countries in Asia, such as VietShrimp, which serves as a prime example.”

In short, the events market is becoming more and more focused. It is no longer the producer who must go to the exhibitors; it is the exhibitors who must now approach the producers. While all regions should consolidate their national and regional organizations, in the Gulf Countries Community (GCC), which is the region with the greatest resources, vision, and political will to boost aquaculture, it is imperative to generate much more significant cooperation.

This is crucial to generate the critical mass and ecosystem for all this effort to crystallize. Is it time to create the GCC or Mena Chapter of the WAS? Or will it be necessary to create other types of organizations led by the current producers? Whatever the answer, it will require commitment, vision, and a great deal of passion. Having spent a couple of years in this beautiful part of the world, I am confident that whatever challenge you face, you will be able to overcome it.

Ph.D. Antonio Garza de Yta

*Antonio Garza de Yta is Senior Fisheries and Aquaculture Advisor for AWJ Innovation, Vice President of the International Center for Strategic Studies in Aquaculture (CIDEEA), President of Aquaculture Without Frontiers (AwF), Past President of the World Aquaculture Society (WAS), Former Secretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture of Tamaulipas, Mexico, and Creator of the Certification for Aquaculture Professionals (CAP) Program with Auburn University.

WAS
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Cargill Empyreal75
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GLOBAL LEADERS

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