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AE2019: all you need to know

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An inaugural EAS Aquaculture Europe Innovation Forum is among the most eagerly anticipated sessions set to feature at AE2109, which is taking place Berlin on 7-11 October.

by Senior editor, The Fish Site
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In partnership with Hatch Blue and the German Startups Association, the Innovation Forum – which takes place on 9 October – will be made up of introductory speakers and then pitches from 12 new companies that wish to seek further investment to develop. Speakers include Olaf Birkner on “raising awareness for your start-up”; “What an investor looks for in a start-up” from Viggo Halseth, chief innovation officer of Nutreco and the “European Innovation Council: a one-stop-shop to high-potential innovators” from Sigi gruber, head of the healthy oceans & seas unit, in the Directorate General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission. A teaser on ‘lessons learned’ will be provided by Rob van de Ven, Landing Aquaculture, The Netherlands and former EAS Student Group chair.

The Estrel Hotel is hosting the event

The pitches will be assessed by panellists covering a wealth of experience in aquaculture and also in financing. These include Lucille Bonnet, High-Tech Gründerfonds Management (HTGF), Germany, Dominik Ewald, Monitorfish and the German Startups Association, Germany, Angela Schultz-Zehden, sPro, Germany, Margriet Drouillon, University of Gent, Belgium, Robin Shields, Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, UK, Viggo Halseth, Nutreco, Johan Verreth – EAS Past President and Harald Sveier - Lerøy Seafood Group, Norway.

The winner in each session will be selected by the panel and will likely benefit from their attention. They will also receive a free booth at AE2020 in Cork to showcase their innovation.

Women in aquaculture

The AE2019 Special Sessions are targeted towards aquaculture producers and suppliers. They include sessions on marine litter, parasite management, nutrition and breeding innovations, shrimp production and aquaculture in Central and Eastern Europe. One of the special sessions is entitled “Women in Aquaculture.” Organised by EAS and The Fish Site, this panel session will look at ways to ensure greater gender diversity at all levels of the aquaculture sector. More specifically, the panel will offer first hand insights into how women can overcome perceived gender-related obstacles and build thriving careers right across the aquaculture sector.


The event organisers say that Aquaculture Europe 2019 is set to be one of the “biggest and most varied” edition of the annual event.

Nearly 900 abstracts have been received for presentation, while the programme includes 55 sessions over the three conference days; 148 booths have been sold for the trade show; and eight special sessions have been arranged to link business and science.


The opening plenary sessions of AE2019 will include a view on “The Environment and Fish Health” – by Professor Charles R Tyler of the University of Exeter – a free-ranging talk on how knowledge of fish physiology can optimise aquaculture practice. This will be followed by a panel session, moderated by Alexander Wever, that will cover the concerns and standpoints of producers, traders and consumers.

Trade show

The AE2019 trade show currently has 148 booths sold to 130 companies from 23 countries. Exhibitors include the main companies operating in Germany, as well as speciality companies proposing products and services for the sector. It also includes some new entrants to aquaculture.

The German angle

The AE2019 local organising committee has put together a varied programme for a day specifically focused on aquaculture in Germany: the AE2019 Industry Forum. In German and in English, the day will include presentations and discussions on (intensifying) production to improve performance and efficiency, coupling caviar production with power plant and trout ponds, new solutions for old problems, sharing insights from a Bavarian Indoor-RAS farm for tropical shrimp production, the use of digital systems in aquaculture and science-based insights into animal welfare in aquaculture.

Farm tours

AE2019 includes two technical tours for delegates that have registered for the event. The one on aquaponics has already reached its total capacity, but there are still a very few places left for the tour to a state-of-the-art, semi-commercial RAS research infrastructure for the reproduction and production of pikeperch (Sander lucioperca), operated by the Institute of Fisheries of LFA.

Registration for AE2019 is open through and other information, including hotels (direct links and accommodation codes) is also there.

The event is being sponsored by Biomar, Sorgal and the Rentenbank.