News & Events

Regional e-Notes: February Letter from the Director

Feb 27, 2018


Like many of you, I just returned home from the Aquaculture America Conference in Las Vegas. The theme of this year’s conference was “Shaping the Future - Telling our Story,” and it was a productive week filled with educational presentations, constructive meetings with old and new friends, and a powerful plenary session. Dr. Jerry Schubel, President and CEO of the Aquarium of the Pacific, began the session by telling the story of how seafood saved early homosapiens, who survived by moving to coastal regions where they had access to an abundance of nutrient-rich protein. He further pointed out that seafood may once again save our species from a global food crisis, but only if we approach it the right way through effective fisheries management and increased sustainable aquaculture production. Dr. Schubel closed his presentation by urging stakeholders to address obstacles impeding the expansion of U.S. aquaculture—particularly the public perception of fish farming—and challenging all in attendance to take a role in shaping the narrative surrounding our industry through storytelling. He was followed by guest speaker Dave Lieber, who presented his formula on how to tell an impressive story and encouraged attendees to “embrace their hero traits” and tell their success stories to help increase global acceptance of aquaculture.

During the conference, it was evident that many researchers and other industry stakeholders are paying close attention to the sustainability of aquaculture farming practices, as there was much focus on up-and-coming efficient and environmentally friendly farming and feeding technologies. The session on aquaponics was packed with researchers, farmers, and other industry stakeholders interested in the emerging method of farming, while several presentations focused on alternative feed ingredients and converting waste into useable resources. If we champion renewable technologies like these and highlight their stories, we will increase the exposure and demand for sustainable aquaculture and diminish outdated perceptions of our industry.

CTSA strives to do our part in telling the story of aquaculture by sharing the results of our funded projects and services through various mediums, including this newsletter and our video series. I am currently discussing some new opportunities for storytelling with my team, so keep an eye out for exciting things to come. We are always looking for new ways to engage the global audience in the discussion about aquaculture, and welcome your thoughts and suggestions.


Cheng-Sheng Lee, Ph.D.
Executive Director, CTSA