News & Events

Recap of Hawai’i Aquaculture and Aquaponics Association 2019 Meeting on O’ahu

Aug 19, 2019

On August 12, the Hawai’i Aquaculture and Aquaponics Association (HAAA) held its 2019 Conference at Kapiolani Community College. This year’s conference focused on “Innovation and Collaboration,” and featured eleven speakers, including three visiting guest speakers.

The first guest speaker Georg Baunach, Managing Partner and Co-founder of HATCH Blue, discussed the upcoming HATCH cohort in his presentation “Acceleration of Aquaculture Innovation.” Among other goals, HATCH hopes to help innovate and reinvigorate aquaculture in the Hawaiian Islands. Other guest speakers shared information relevant to Hawaii farmers, ranging from tilapia disease to food safety in aquaponics production.

“I felt it was a very diverse program well supported by sponsors and well received by attendees, many of whom shared very positive feedback,” stated Ron Weidenbach, President of HAAA. “The presentations were strong and the presenters were well prepared and on target for the audience.”

Multiple conference presentations were focused on disseminating CTSA-funded research results. CTSA Principal Investigator RuthEllen Klinger-Bowen, a Fish Disease Specialist with the University of Hawaii, presented on the recently completed CTSA project “Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis prevalence and genetic assessment of feral tilapia populations in Hawaii.” In addition, Dr. Chad Callan, the Director of the Finfish Program at Oceanic Institute of Hawaii Pacific University, discussed his ongoing CTSA-funded work in his presentation “Recent improvements in advancing the culture of yellow tang (Zebrasoma flavescens): an update on progress at Oceanic Institute.”

“The HAAA conference is a great opportunity for our local industry to gather and share updates,” stated CTSA Executive Director Cheng-Sheng Lee. “It is also a good platform for CTSA PI’s and other local researchers to share the results of their latest research, which is often very relevant to the people in attendance.”

“I was particularly happy to hear about developments at UH Hilo PACRC, which is starting to conduct research on food fish and marine ornamentals in Hawaii,” he continued. “These types of events help us to foster partnerships and innovation in our industry.”

Nearly 100 industry stakeholders attended the all-day event, which was co-sponsored by CTAHR, HDOA, Ulupono, Matson, CTSA, UH Hilo and others.