AQUACULTURE is being hailed for its potential to provide financial returns for many farmers across Australia.
AgriFood Skills Australia CEO Arthur Blewitt said Australian farmers spent most of their lives learning how to grow things, and the diverse skills they learnt in farming were in many ways the same as those needed to take on fish farming.
World Aquaculture Society director Roy Palmer said around half global consumption of seafood now came from aquaculture.
"For the first time in modern history the world is producing more farmed fish than farmed beef, aquaculture is playing an increasingly important role in meeting the challenge of global food security," he said.
"I therefore urge Australia's agricultural farmers to use those tremendous creating, nurturing and growing skills they have developed to help tackle an impending world food shortage - and at the same time provide some extra valuable income on their farms.
"Wild caught seafood is a finite resource and while it can be harvested sustainably well into the future, we have to understand that with a global population now at seven billion and growing, there are limitations on supplies and costs.
"Clearly the future is about creating, nurturing and growing fish/seafood in a natural environment to supply all our food needs for the future. The future is aquaculture, it is essential for our food security."
Mr Palmer said the conference, trade show and workshops combined to be the largest primary industry meeting held in Australia and the largest aquaculture event in the southern hemisphere during 2014.
"WAA14, which takes place in from June 7-11, 2014 at the Adelaide Convention Centre, will be an opportunity for several thousand people from the international aquaculture community - academics, industry researchers, market and industry analysts, government officials, policy makers, trainers/educators and industry representatives - to present their work and exchange ideas and develop a vision for the future of the aquaculture industry as we focus on the theme of 'Create, Nurture, Grow," he said.
Arthur Blewitt said AgriFood Skills Australia was investing in this event and he encouraged farmers - and anyone else - interested in moving into one of the fastest growing primary production sectors in the world to consider attending WAA14 to hear about the opportunities and prospects in the aquaculture industry.
- FAO's World Aquaculture 2010 report found that global production of fish from aquaculture grew more than 60% between 2000 and 2008, from 32.4 million tonnes to 52.5 million tonnes.
- FAO says 50% of the world's food fish consumption now comes from aquaculture.
- Fish is the world's fastest-growing source of animal protein.
This table is information on Aquaculture Production and highlights the challenge and opportunity for Australia
Aquaculture Production per Continent (2011 figures)
Region Tonnage (Millions) Percentage of Total
Asia 55.5 88.5
America's 2.9 4.7
Europe 2.7 4.3
Africa 1.4 2.2
Oceania 0.2 0.3
TOTAL 62.7 100
Figures courtesy FAO 2013