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Global Aquaculture 2010 kicks off print

Global Aquaculture 2010 kicks off  image

The Global Conference on Aquaculture 2010 kicked off at the Mövenpick Resort and Spa in Phuket, Thailand, on Wednesday with a series of opening speeches and a keynote address.

The conference was originally scheduled to take place in Bangkok in early June, but political unrest in the capital city forced organizers to postpone and relocate the event.

The new venue has proved popular, as 700 delegates gathered to hear Dr. Somying Piumsombun, Director General of the Thai Department of Fisheries, make her opening remarks to an audience of aquaculture experts, fish farmers and scientists.

In his keynote presentation, Professor M.S. Swaminathan, chairman of the Swaminathan Foundation and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s chairman of eco-technology, made a strong case for aquaculture across the world.

The need for food and nutrition security is important, but food production has to be sustainable, said Swaminathan, who provides technical help to poor coastal communities. Harnessing modern technology with traditional knowledge is key to the growth of the region’s aquaculture industry, he said.

The packed hall listened intently as the Swaminathan, who hails from India, explained his own country’s progress in aquaculture amongst rural farmers. He did, however, acknowledge that the Millennium Goals of 2000 were still not being honored by many of the richer nations. Swaminathan touched on a host of topics that would keep delegates in discussion for longer than this conference will allow. Genetically engineered salmon, organic farming, capacity building in aquaculture and artificial reefs were all part of his opening address.

The conference continues over the next four days, when it is anticipated that a “Phuket Accord” will be agreed upon to take the aquaculture industry forward over the next five years.

The event is organized by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Thai Department of Fisheries and Network of Aquaculture Centers in Asia-Pacific.



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