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President's Column December 2021

As I am writing this column on 30 November, the International Day of Aquaculture, it is fitting to talk today about some general aspects that will shape our sector in the coming years. We are still learning to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and to try to adapt to the changes it causes in our lives, but at the same time new challenges are emerging for the aquaculture community. The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) just ended some weeks ago and a new global agreement — the Glasgow Climate Pact — was reached. It aims to reduce the worst impacts of climate change by setting a global agenda for the next decade. Some of the outcomes of COP26 include cutting carbon dioxide emissions and trying to limit temperatures rise within 1.5 C, reduce the use of coal, increase money to help poor countries cope with the effects of climate change and switch to clean energy, phase-out subsidies for fossil fuel, and stop deforestation by 2030 (as agreed by most of the countries in the Latin-American and Caribbean region). Discussions explored the establishment of actions that will ensure the resilience of aquatic ecosystems from climate change and human-induced impacts, while protecting the food source of fisheries and aquaculture-dependent communities.

New standards will emerge for sustainable activities and targets will be defined and expected to be reached within set timeframes. To reach those objectives we must work together (governments, businesses and civil society). As aquaculture professionals, we need to get involved and help improve technical aspects of the aquaculture industry, as well as influence policies. We are ideally placed along the value chain to strengthen capacity building and enhance aquaculture sustainability, as well as social development and well-being in the region.

In a more house-keeping manner, I invite you to support our seminars and conferences. If everything goes according to plan, we will celebrate the World Aquaculture 2021 (WA2021) conference in Mérida, Mexico, from 24 to 27 May 2022. In addition, our annual LACQUA convention will take place in Panama from 14 to 17 November 2022. Please contribute to the success of these events by coming and sharing your latest discoveries, analyses, innovations and theories with the audience and aquaculture family of the region. Get in touch with Carolina Amézquita and Javier Martínez Cordero, our new President, to support their agenda.

I wish you are all well and look forward to meeting again soon.

— Laurence Massaut, President