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Aquavision: Bob Geldof calls for action

"Management of our natural resources should be on the agenda of every policy maker". This was stated by Sir Bob Geldof, who was the keynote speaker at the first day of Aquavison, a world business conference on aquaculture.

The 10th edition of Aquavison takes place from June 16-18 in Stavanger, Norway and was officially opened on Tuesday. According to Geldof, known for his Live Aid project and musical career, spoke about his views on how aquaculture can contribute sustainably to feeding the planet's growing population. "Initially I was not very interested in aquaculture, but I have read many reports about this sector and now I am fascinated by it" said Geldof. He did address that management is key in turning this ancient way of farming into a sustainable, modern and socially accepted way of producing food. "Aquaculture is nothing more than building, hoarding and farming to make sure we can produce enough food. But technological and economical progress - such as the aquaculture boom - should not be done without social progress. Otherwise it is diminishing and it doesn't make sense", according to Geldof.

Geldof also addressed that we already passed the point where planet earth can regenerate itself from the damage done by mankind. "That is why protecting our natural resources should be on top of every policy maker's agenda. And that requires co-operation and commitment, but also investments", Geldof told the audience.

Milestone for aquaculture
Knut Nesse, CEO of Nutreco offically opened the conference on Tuesday. Nesse said aquaculture is about healthy and sustainable protein production. "We cannot get more from wild capture fisheries. The solution to seafood production growth needs to come from aquaculture and according to the Financial Times, 2014 will be a milestone year where the per capita consumption of farmed fish will be greater than wild fish consumption," said Nesse. The figures are based on calculations from the FAO, saying that this year people on average eat 10.3kg  of farmed fish and 9.7 kg of wild fish per year.

In his presentation, Nesse also named three challenges that aquaculture faces today: raw materials (the limitations of fishmeal and fishoil), fish health (not enough vaccines and lack of knowledge about fish and shrimp diseases) and challenge number 3: sustainability. He also said that aquaculture will continue to grow from a total of 10 million tonnes output in 2010 to double this volume by 2020.

DSM Innovation Award
The event welcomed more than 400 delegates from 45 countries, including many top decision makers from the aquaculture industry. The conference has been organised by Skretting and its parent company Nutreco in co-operation with DNB and DSM Nutritional Products. On the second day (June 18) more renowned speakers are on the programme and the winner of the DSM Innovation Award will also be announced.

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