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President's Column March 2021

I am in my second and last year as President of the Latin American and Caribbean Chapter and hope this new year will give us the opportunity to recuperate some type of interaction as we were accustomed to having. Soon we will have our annual conference, 100 percent online. LACQUA20 will take place on 23-25 March 2021 and will feature talks by selected speakers on subjects relevant to our region: 1) economy and markets, 2) shrimp, 3) Macrobrachium, 4) tilapia, 5) native and marine fishes, 6) health management and 7) culture systems. The event will also include a new session format for industry, where companies and media will have a dedicated space to present results from their latest research, products and services. I hope you will be able to join us. Our region will also host the WAS global conference this year. Indeed, World Aquaculture 2021 is planned to take place in Mérida, Mexico, from 15 to 19 November 2021. The call for abstracts will stay open until 1 May 2021 and I invite all of you to submit your work. This is the perfect opportunity for the Latin American region to showcase our research, training programs and expertise with the culture of native species and development of aquaculture systems adapted to our reality. I am sure we will also all be happy to meet again and regain those conversations and exchanges of ideas after so many months apart. Visit our webpage (www.was.org) and click on the conference logo for more information, registration, sponsorship opportunities or abstract submission. As a final comment on conferences, we wanted to let you know that we are already evaluating different locations for LACQUA 2022 and 2023. Ecuador, Chile and Peru have approached us and we are open to review any strong host city supported by our members. Feel free to send detailed information to Carolina Amézquita at Carolina@was.org. Before leaving you, I would like to inform you of the results of our election. The receipt of ballots was extended until the first week of February and, after counting the votes, we can now announce two new Board Members: Laura Patricia Silva is our new Secretary and Sergio Andres Piedrahita Wood is the new Director. They will take office during our virtual Board meeting in March and will serve on the Board for two years, until the 2022 LACQUA convention. Laura has developed her aquaculture career in the academic sector in Mexico and in the research sector in Mexico and Brazil. Sergio brings a vast experience in the aquaculture sector, mostly hands-on aquaculture farming in large-scale industrial operations in Mexico, Honduras, Colombia and Haiti. We are sure that Laura and Sergio will bring new vision and energy to the Board, allowing us to expand our reach and continue to promote sustainable development of aquaculture in the Latin American and Caribbean region. I hope you are all well. — Laurence Massaut, President