Doubling aquaculture production in a decade?


Fiona Robinson, SeaFood Business associate publisher and editor

Published on
November 6, 2011

Editor’s note: SeaFood Business Associate Publisher and Editor Fiona Robinson is in Santiago, Chile, reporting from this week’s 2011 Global Outlook for Aquaculture Leadership (GOAL) conference. 

Aquaculture industry experts from around the world have converged in Santiago, Chile, for this week’s 2011 Global Outlook for Aquaculture Leadership (GOAL) conference. Officials from organizer Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) as well as representatives from the Chilean seafood industry welcomed attendees to the sold-out event, held for the first time in the southern hemisphere.

The theme of this year’s conference, “Double in a Decade — Responsibly,” was echoed throughout the introductory remarks to a packed house of an estimated 400 attendees on Monday morning. The conference is being held for the first time in Chile, whose farmed salmon industry is still recovering from the devastating effects of infectious salmon anemia (ISA) outbreak of 2007 and 2008.

“[The global aquaculture industry has] a lot to learn from the innovation and entrepreneurship for all the businesses throughout Chile,” said Wally Stevens, GAA executive director. “Without a doubt, Chilean salmon was, and is, a game changer in the global aquaculture field. What has been accomplished in Chile is a model for private and public partnerships that could serve others in this room.”

Stevens noted that doubling global aquaculture production needs to be done in a way that no harm is done to the environment. The industry faces five challenges with respect to growing production: Disease management, feed supplies, environmental impacts, financing and market acceptance.

Ricardo Garcia, CEO of Chilean seafood producer Camanchaca, delivered the morning’s keynote address and discussed the opportunities and challenges inherent with doubling production in a decade. 

“Growth is not enough, we have to be responsible for next generations. We need sustainable growth,” he said. “How do we do that? By managing the inherent risks. We will have no progress without taking risks.”

Garcia classified the risks of increasing aquaculture in three groups: the “local village” encompasses cultural and policy/regulatory risks; the “global village” group includes risks of the environment, market and finances; and the last group of risks, “live animals,” includes risks inherent with ingredients and bio-sanitation.

The GOAL conference runs through Wednesday.

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