World Aquaculture - June 2023

16 JUNE 2023 • WORLD AQUACULTURE • WWW.WAS.ORG and, while working in Florida under the guidance of Craig Watson, he helped the tropical fish community navigate challenges to the industry’s growth. In 1994, he moved to California, bought out the previous owner of Aqua Logic, and began to expand their offerings to aquatic industries. The company’s tagline — Aqua Logic Helps Aquatic Systems Thrive — could very well be said about Doug. The small company he bought has become an international supplier of solutions to the aquatic industry, including bait, aquatic research, ornamentals, aquaponics, zoos, aquariums, education, science centers, and live holding systems for seafood restaurants and bait shops. He and his company have been innovative and collaborative. His strongest attributes are his dedication to farmers, understanding of the industry’s needs, attention to detail and a strong work ethic. He is always willing to help with donations to support the industry. He is a great listener and communicator, and his passion has grown his business. Doug works quietly and dependably in the background. He is fine behind the scenes helping keep aquatic organisms alive and the industry thriving. His understanding of community, innovation, and relationships has helped US aquaculture grow. USAS Distinguished Early Career Award: Ian Butts and Matt Smith The Distinguished Early Career Award recognizes individuals who have been involved in US aquaculture for ten years or less. This award recognizes outstanding leadership or innovation in research, education, extension, or industry development in the field of aquaculture. The award specifically emphasizes significant personal contributions made to further advance US aquaculture. Ian Butts, from Auburn University, has done groundbreaking work with Atlantic cod, hybrid catfish, blue catfish, eastern oysters, largemouth bass, Atlantic salmon and southern flounder — all species of economic importance to US aquaculture. His work has focused on improving spawning success for aquaculture species. He has developed techniques to cryopreserve stem cells for blue catfish, standardize in vitro techniques for the hybridization of catfish, shed light on complex gamete interactions during fertilization, and elucidated the mechanisms of regulating sperm motility in the eastern oyster. In his efforts to improve US aquaculture hatchery production techniques, he has obtained nearly $7 million in grant awards. Ian has also contributed to the industry by providing highly trained students, especially hatchery workers, to the workforce. USAS Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award: Jimmy Avery The Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has made contributions and broad impacts throughout their career to US aquaculture through research, education, extension and/or industry development. This award recognizes a long-time commitment of service to aquaculture that is deemed highly significant and enduring. Jimmy Avery is no stranger to USAS members and aquaculture producers. Currently he is an Extension Professor at Mississippi State University and Director of the Southern Regional Aquaculture Center in Stoneville, MS. His impact on US aquaculture is broad and deep, but to single out two recent highlights where he has been especially impactful: When an inspection system for catfish was switched from FDA to USDA in 2008, he arranged educational sessions, farm tours and processing plant visits to train inspectors. In response to a handful of recalls of US catfish, he approached the Catfish Farmers of America about forming a recall task force. Jimmy then led an educational team and recruited technical experts from the southern region, a team that gave producers the information they needed in a form they could use. In recent years, Jimmy has also been working to get aquaculture producers access to the same supplemental agricultural assistance programs available to terrestrial farmers. He was instrumental in informing and educating producers on how to become eligible through workshops for USDA relief and farm support programs. He is a Past-president of USAS (2007-2008) and WAS (20192021). He has been a long-time advisor to many catfish commodity organizations. He has assisted in the formation, organizational procedures, and writing of by-laws for at least four US aquaculture industry groups. USAS Douglas Drennan II Leadership Award: Doug Russell This special award recognizes individuals who have professionally and personally contributed to US aquaculture through improving technology, innovation and/or process and demonstrated a personal commitment to the US aquaculture community, especially students. Doug Russell has been in the aquatic industry for roughly 30 years. He began working at Aquatic Eco-systems in the late 1980s Ian Butts Jimmy Avery Professional Awards at Aquaculture America 2023 Doug Russell