December 14, 2020

President's Column December 2020

The global pandemic continues to force rescheduling of WAS meetings. John Cooksey, WAS Executive Director, and his conference management team continue to monitor the situation throughout the world so we can provide the best safe and secure meetings in 2021. You can check the updated schedule on the last pages of this issue.

Our next scheduled WAS Board meeting and Annual Business Meeting was to be held during the Aquaculture America ’21 (AA21) meeting on February 21-24, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas, USA. The meeting was postponed in October 2020. It has been rescheduled for August 11-14, 2021 at the same venue, the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter. When the Board agreed to schedule our next meeting at AA21, we added the stipulation that if it was postponed, we would conduct a virtual WAS Annual Business meeting by February 21, 2021. The virtual meeting is scheduled for February 19, 2021. The WAS Home Office will send an announcement with the time and how to register. The WAS Board, including incoming Officers, Directors and Chapter Presidents, will be meeting virtually on February 17-18, 2021.

We continue to do the work of the Society. On October 15, 2020, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the CEO of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD). We have agreed to a joint three-year action plan to identify and implement collaborative actions to facilitate the development of aquaculture in Africa through stakeholder engagement. The AUDA-NEPAD will provide office space for the WAS African Chapter and their Secretariat, Blessing Mapfumo. This is an important agreement because it completes the Chapter “establishment” process. Congratulations to everyone who contributed their time and effort to make this happen.

On November 9, 2020, we signed an Association agreement between the European Aquaculture Society (EAS) and WAS. We have agreed to be “Associates” to enhance the benefits available to the membership of each society, enable the cooperative exchange of information, and to broaden the exchange of information within the general aquaculture community. Every six years since 2000, WAS and EAS have organized a joint meeting, called AQUA (AQUA 2012, AQUA 2018, etc.). The AQUA events incorporate the WAS World Aquaculture and the EAS Aquaculture Europe events.

Despite what I said in June, this will be my last column as your president. I want to take the opportunity to thank our out-going WAS Officers and Directors and welcome the incoming team. Dr. Maria Celia Portella will be ending her term as past-president. Maria has done an excellent job as Chair of the Elections Committee and represented us with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Dr. Mike Denson will be ending his three-year term as Director. Mike did an outstanding job chairing the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan Committee and Co-chair of the Policy, Rules, and Regulations Committee. Dr. Humberto Villarreal Colmenares will be ending his three-year term as Director. Humberto will continue his service as a Section Editor of the Journal of the World Aquaculture Society (JWAS). Dr. Antonio Garza de Yta will take over as President at our virtual Annual Business Meeting. Dr. Jennifer Cobcroft will be the new President-elect. Dr. Kathleen Hartman was elected to serve another term as Secretary. Dr. David Cline and Dr. Victoria Taurus will be your new Directors. Dr. Matt Smith has already assumed the newly created position of Student Director.

I have enjoyed being your president for what will eventually be 24 months (March 2019 – February 2021). Presidential terms usually vary from 7 to 16 months depending on World Aquaculture meeting dates and triennial years with USAS. You don’t make it this long without support from the Board and the Home Office and I appreciate their efforts. The problem with a long term is that you can’t rotate new Officers and Directors through the system. Newly elected Officers and Directors will be able to serve their complete terms once they take office, but you have delayed an election for new people to serve. This is the highest level of professional service of my career — a service career that includes taking on the challenge of being Captain Catfish at the World Catfish Festival in Belzoni, MS. Never say what you won’t do to help further the cause of aquaculture! I hope you find solace in the fact that 2021 will be a much better year!
— Jimmy L. Avery, President

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About Jimmy L. Avery

WAS President 2019-2020 - A WAS member since 2000, I have served on the USAS Board of Directors and as USAS Chapter Vice-President and President. From 2011-2014, I served on the WAS Board of Directors and Chair of the Publications Committee and Magazine Sub-committee and led searches for Journal Editor, Book Editor, and Magazine Editor. While most of my aquaculture career has been spent in the United States, aquaculture activities have also allowed me to visit Canada, Germany, the Czech Republic, Viet Nam, and Australia.

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