• Espanol
  • Portuguese
  • English
President's Column June 2023

It seems like yesterday we were planning for LACQUA23 in Panama and now our LACC Chapter is already focused on Medellín, Colombia for LACQUA24. LACQUA23 in Panamá City was a very nice conference. There were 1189 total attendees from 48 countries, including 58 students. Our academic program consisted of 189 abstracts for oral presentations that were organized in 22 different sessions, including a very detailed one about the perspectives for aquaculture in Panama. Our trade show included 65 booths as well. In general, it was nice to get together again in person.

Our conference gave us also the opportunity to recognize Dr. Alejandro Flores Nava, who recently retired as Main Fisheries Officer for the Latin American and Caribbean Region of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. I personally witnessed in the past month several occasions on our continent when aquaculture experts and organizations came together to recognize Alejandro for all the excellent work done. For sure, we will miss his deep knowledge of aquaculture on our continent, and mainly, one of the strongest voices for small-scale aquaculture including the so-called aquaculturists for self-consumption. Now retired, we will find a way in our LACC Chapter to keep Alejandro involved in our continual efforts to progress and include small-scale farmers.

Our Board of Directors met during LACQUA23, analyzing among other issues, ways to consolidate our membership on our continent. We are always looking to increase the inclusion of students, women and small-scale producers. Consequently, the Board decided to incorporate a student representative as a Board Member, selected from the host country of our LACQUA Conferences, a year in advance. Hence, a Colombian student representative is now being selected who will help us getting a much stronger involvement of students in LACQUA24, including special sessions focused on students’ work and interests.

The FAO’s Subcommittee on Aquaculture recently recommended to strengthen worldwide studies and projects that incorporate women in aquaculture. This really goes along very well with our Chapter efforts, and I’m sure we will find many synergies and opportunities for joint work. In the case of LACQUA24, for example, having on our Board of Directors Dras. Adriana Muñoz and Paola Barato, long-time successful representatives of women in aquaculture and particularly Dra. Muñoz a strong speaker of indigenous aquaculture, assures us that we will find ways on our Board to focus our continental work on the fair inclusion and representation of women and indigenous farmers.

The Colombian Aquaculture Congress for 2024 will also take place in Medellín, organized by the University of Antioquia and the CES University of Medellín. The idea is to unite this congress as was done with LACQUA18 in Bogota, resulting in a bigger participation of the Colombian academy, a greater number of students and submitted summaries.

We hope to see all of you in Medellín, Colombia, September 24-27 for LACQUA24. Please start planning.

— Francisco Javier Martinez Cordero, President