ANALYSIS - As Aqua Nor 2013 officially opens in Trondheim, Norway, over 480 exhibitors from 22 nations gather to explore and develop new knowledge, products and techniques in the aquaculture and fishing industry, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.
This year marks the 18th edition of AquaNor and the show is expected to be bigger than ever with a 20 per cent increase in size from last year.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Norwegian Director of Fisheries, Liv Holmefjord, described how important the show is to the Norwegian seafood industry.
Ms Holmefjord noted that Norway is the secong biggest exporter of seafood in the world, generating around $8.5 billion.
But, even though Norway is a great seafood nation, there is still much to learn.
Welcoming all the international guests to the show, the mayor of Trondheim, Rita Ottervik, also noted how the show is not only to the industry, but, also to politicions as it provides good interaction between the industry, knowledge and decision making.
The hosting of the show in Trondheim has also helped the city to grow both in size and through the quality of services and jobs it offers.
Turning to the more wider importance of the show, Arni Mathiesen, Assistant Director General of FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture spoke about how the show is helping to address sustainability issues.
It will be a huge challenge to feed nine billion by 2050, noted Mr Mathiesen. With land and freshwater availiability decreasing, the extra food needed must be met from the oceans, in particular from aquaculture.
Aquaculture growth rate had actually declined in recent years, said Mr Mathiesen. AquaNor is therefore hugely important in lifting the production of aquaculture.
The opening ceremony was concluded by the Norwegian Minister of Fisheries, Lisbeth Berg Hansen who stated the industry needs to develop sustainably and that the show can help to do that. Hoping that everyone takes something important from the show, Ms Berg Hansen finished with "inspire and be inspired".