Responsible Aquaculture gets Global Nod

By Tim Juzefowicz
Second Vice President, World Renderers Organization

The World Renderers Organization (WRO), an association member of the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), was a silver sponsor at this year’s Global Outlook for Aquaculture Leadership conference held in Bangkok, Thailand. Over 330 people from around the world attended the meeting that featured more than 40 speakers and a theme of “Making a Difference Through Responsible Aquaculture,” designed to build on last year’s theme of “Double in a Decade.” The conference has been held every year since 2003 in various cities around the world. Next October, the conference will be held in Paris, France.

The first day of the conference included a presentation by GAA President George Chamberlain of the alliance’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Chingchai Lohawatanakul (known as Dr. Lin) for his work in developing the shrimp aquaculture industry. He received a standing ovation from attendees.

The production session followed with discussion on aquaculture growth predictions and the state of global macroeconomics. The expectation is for China’s middle class to grow significantly, necessitating new demands for seafood products. This will become both a challenge and an opportunity for the aquaculture industry.

Aquaculture Health Management discussed case studies describing the control of infectious salmon anemia in Chile and the growing concern of early mortality syndrome in shrimp. There are more unknowns with this disease than answers but collaborative studies are underway.

The second day of the conference included presentations and views by various investment organizations and GAA’s Social Accountability Panel. Steven Hedlund described how the alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) program was developing quickly with over 500 facilities certified so far and certified tonnage up 25 percent. It was explained that progress should be measured by whether GAA and its BAP program are “making a difference on the ground,” ensuring that aquaculture is growing in a responsible manner. Emphasis was made that the necessary mechanisms are in place to encourage global aquaculture production growth and the BAP program is part of that mechanism

On the final day, the marketing sessions covered certification, sustainability, and supplier audit programs. There were three separate marketing panels made up of representatives from some of the world’s leading suppliers and retailers. The panel members were asked a number of questions on issues affecting sustainability of the global fish meal supply to the role of “ecolabels” to rising seafood prices. Reference was made to the use of “trash fish” in aquaculture feeds and how this practice is not sustainable in the future.

Renderers around the world should recognize the future growth of aquaculture as an excellent opportunity to promote animal protein meals and fats/oils for use in aquaculture feeds.

December 2012 RENDER | back