HavExpo audience doubles online

HavExpo. Photo: HavExpo

A KEY aquaculture conference called off three months ago because of Coronavirus is attracting more than double its normal audience through a digital version of the event.

HavExpo 2020 was due to have been held in the Norwegian city of Bergen at the end of March before it fell victim to the pandemic. The bi-annual event, organised by the Research Council of Norway and the Fisheries and Aquaculture Research Fund, normally attracts around 500 participants from Norwegian and international fish farming interests. The next physical conference is scheduled to take place in March next year, but has been cut from three to two days.

However, a digital version of this year’s expo, which deals with specific biological and technical issues relating to aquaculture not normally aired at larger events, is now underway and is reported to have an audience of at least 1,200 active participants.

Several key speakers have already been streamed live. The theme is ‘Climate and Aquaculture’ and among the issues under discussion is whether shipping salmon to Asia by boat in a frozen state was preferable to sending it fresh by aircraft and whether it affected quality. The environmental merits or otherwise of moving salmon away from air transport has been a hot issue in Scandinavia over the past year and there were plans to open a rail service direct to China this winter until Covid hit.

The conference also looked at how increased temperatures in an ever warming world might affect the quality of salmon along with what role aquaculture can play in feeding rising populations.