Despite producing over three quarters of the world’s aquaculture output, a number of issues regarding the distribution and marketing of fish produced by the Asian aquaculture industry need to be addressed.
This will be the focus of the next Aquaculture Roundtable Series (TARS), which is taking place in Bali on 16-17th August, under the theme of Finfish Aquaculture: Strategies for Growth.
While most of the global growth in finfish production over the next few decades is expected to come from Asia, the conference organisers reflect that the region needs to overcome several barriers before any increases in production can be exploited fully. These include the disconnect between demand and supply in Asia; the low volume supply of high value live fish in local and regional markets; the high volume, low prices for frozen fish/fillet in global markets; and the lack of effort on product development, branding and marketing.
“Asia’s finfish producers realise the need to be consumer-friendly fish providers, as the focus is on food safety. The industry also has to address several challenges holding back its progress as a trusted and responsible fish supplier, including image and credibility issues,” says Dr Zuridah Merican, editor of Aqua Culture Asia Pacific, and chairperson of TARS 2017.
The lack of industrialisation, integration and controlled, production systems, and focus on multiple species continue to hinder R&D on genetics, technology, health management and diseases, as well as the development of support industries. It is just as important for the industry to keep pace with demands from a new generation of consumers, Dr Merican asserts.
Now in its seventh year, TARS 2017 will feature a comprehensive agenda featuring state-of-the-industry and science presentations by invited local and international industry experts. The two-day meeting aims to promote positive image building and improving relationships and communication among the key players in the finfish sector, different markets, governments and NGOs.
The meeting will address:
• The state of the industry and challenges throughout Asia, specifically for leading finfish producers such as China and Indonesia.
• Marketing, branding, value addition, image building, fishmeal-free feeds and production technology as the industry is challenged by market demands and competition.
• Higher production efficiency through industrialisation, integration, segmentation, automation and health and feed management.
• Opportunities to improve feed efficacy and fish health through R&D and functional feeds.
• Future trends in the global finfish industry and market potential for Asian producers.
Since 2011, TARS has continued to serve as a unique platform for dialogue, information exchange and networking opportunities among Asia’s key players in the finfish aquaculture sector. This year’s event is expected to draw 200 participants from Asia, Australia, USA, Europe and Latin America.
Industry sponsors for TARS 2017 include INVE Aquaculture, Biomin, Biomar, Aquativ, Nutriad, Jefo, DSM, HJ Baker and BASF.