Around 100 local students who had prepared reports on sustainable food production attended the conference to hear Mr Annan speak (two-time Secretary General of the United Nations). He met with those students with the highest rated reports
In the same AquaVision session, Árni Mathiesen, Assistant Director General at FAO—the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, described the emerging food security challenges. FAO views aquaculture as a vital part of addressing this challenge in a sustainable manner. Mr Mathiesen reported that FAO aims to build a broad global partnership programme to advance aquaculture and wants to see special initiatives to increase the impact of fish on human nutrition, including for women and for children, especially in their first 1000 days.
Aquaculture meets protein needs of 500 million people
Speaking next, Dr Fraser Thomson of the McKinsey Global Institute told the delegates that aquaculture can potentially increase to meet the protein needs of 500 million more people. He calculated by 2050 there would be an additional three billion more middle class people with spending power to be selective in their food purchasing. He highlighted the importance of aquaculture by pointing out the constraints on land agriculture, which include competition for raw materials, water, land and energy.
Also in the first session Dr Lisa Borges of the Sustainable Fishery Partnership described how aquaculture can contribute to sustainable fisheries and Professor Rudy Rabbinge of Wageningen University elaborated on why the food security challenge is increasing the important of aquaculture.
Aquaculture in Asia
Subsequent conference sessions will focus on the boom in aquaculture in Asia, the location of many of the new consumers, and look into the contributions of science and technology to aquaculture growth and sustainability.
AquaVision is organised by Skretting and its parent company Nutreco since 1996, has established itself as an important meeting place for some 400 participants from more than 30 countries.