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President's Column December 2023

So many challenges exist in our region for the sustainable development of aquaculture. Not only are we lacking behind the 2030 SDGs, but the impacts of Climate Change are manifesting in a faster way than anticipated, urging a very efficient response and articulation of actors. Mainly, the situation demands quick decisions from our governments to find solutions. Governance is critical in the real capacity of governments to head efforts to tackle these emerging problems.

Our Chapter is working, through its Board Members and other active players, in helping these efforts at National levels. And we will dedicate the required time and focus to the main elements of these problems, to be analyzed in our forthcoming Regional Conferences.

With the slogan “Aquaculture in Latin America: Innovation and sustainability for a global aquaculture,” our LACQUA24 is taking form in a wonderful way. It will be the product of many local efforts, headed by our two Board Directors Dr. Adriana Muñoz in the academics field, and Dr. Paola Barato, also in academia but mainly in the industry sector. And also, with the assistance of Carolina Amezquita from our LACC Secretariat. Colombia has always been a regional leader in aquaculture, with a very strong system of Universities and academics. Colombia is also a leader in the tilapia industry. Our Colombian colleagues will organize a very complete Scientific Program for the Conference, and the Industry Program will touch the most important topics for aquaculture in the region.

Please plan and mark your calendars, and join us in Medellín, 24-27 September 2024. It will be a unique opportunity to discuss all the challenges for our regional aquaculture and continue collaborative efforts. For the first time in the history of our Chapter, we are formally incorporating into our Board a Student Representative from the country hosting the conference, so she/he can develop different activities for student representation and involvement in the Conference and the Regional Chapter in general. Following what is already currently done in the WAS Board, we will continue to have a student representative participating in our Board and planning future Conferences with us.

In this same focus, in September we visited Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt in Chile, the site for our LACQUA 2025 Conference during the first week of October (date to be confirmed later in 2024). We were introduced to local stakeholders and authorities, including Salmon Chile, all of whom manifested their support and interest for our Regional Conference. Chile has always been a target to host our WAS Conferences, and we are delighted that the site is confirmed now. Chilean academics will join forces to promote the event among students, a very important sector for aquaculture development throughout the world. The Salmon industry is very experienced in organizing top-level aquaculture events in Chile.
We hope to see all of you in Medellín, Colombia, September 24-27 for LACQUA 2024!!!!
Francisco Javier Martinez Cordero, President