At the welcome reception, held at Croke Park in Dublin the night before the conference, guests were treated to fresh pints of Guinness, local oysters and Irish tap dancers, humorists and musicians.
Karin Pittman of Quantidoc AS, and the winner of the 2016 Global Aquaculture Innovation Award, takes in the entertainment at the welcome reception. She would later present on what winning the award has done for her company over the past year.
Neil Manchester of Hendrix Genetics; Sunil Kadri of Alimentos Ventures; and Gorjan Nikolik of Rabobank.
From left to right: Tara Vail of Blue Circle Foods, Sylvia Wulf of US Foods and Maureen Taylor of Slade Gorton enjoy the festivities on the night before the conference began.
Kelly Coleman of the USSEC and Darryl Jory, editor emeritus of the Global Aquaculture Advocate (he's the one with Guinness in his mustache).
University of Stirling Professor David Little; Brad Price of SeaJoy; and University of Massachusetts-Boston Professor Michael Tlusty debate the mysteries of the universe, including whether beer or wine pairs best with oysters.
The quiet before the storm. A look at the main stage shortly before the plenary began on Day 1.
During another stunning opening ceremony, leather-clad Irish drummers woke up the crowd with a percussive performance.
Young Irish singer Pearse Larkin won over the crowd with two songs, the first in the ancient Gaelic language.
The GOAL 2017 app was a big hit with attendees, who used it to weigh in on several audience polls administered throughout the three days of the conference.
GAA Executive Director Wally Stevens, as he does each year, delivered the opening remarks after Ireland's national anthem played. Quoting famous Irish writers, Stevens urged attendees to get a "fire in their heads" to determine how the aquaculture industry can meet its short- and long-term goals.
Conference attendees were treated to a lineup of dynamic expert speakers on all three days.
None of the presenters was more dynamic than Day 1 Keynote Speaker Pearse Lyons, founder of Alltech. Lyons inspired the crowd by convincing them that aquaculture was the right business to be in.
James Anderson, director of the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems and professor of food and resource economics at the University of Florida, delivered the annual GOAL Shrimp Outlook survey data, which was presented in a fresh new format.
Ragnar Tveteras, Ph.D., professor at the University of Stavanger, Norway, delivered the annual GOAL Finfish Outlook survey data.
GAA President George Chamberlain put all the annual production data into perspective by telling the story behind the numbers, relaying tales from trusted producers around the world related to common challenges like disease.
Herman Wisse of the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative talked about the recent news that GAA's Best Aquaculture Practices was the first aquaculture certification scheme to be recognized against the GSSI benchmark tool.
An interesting debate came out of the panel discussion, "Aquafeed Sustainability: The Next 20." Speakers included Kevin Fitzsimmons, University of Arizona and F3 Fish-Free Feed Challenge; Andrew Mallison, IFFO-The Marine Ingredients Organisation;
Walt Rakitsky, Corbion;
Josh Silverman, Calysta;
Jim Sutter, U.S. Soybean Export Council; and the moderator, Dan Lee, Best Aquaculture Practices.
Deva Nihal of the International Labour Organization, speaks during the panel discussion, "Aquaculture as a Vehicle for Positive Social Change."
Libby Woodhatch of Seafish/Responsible Fishing Scheme speaks during the afternoon breakout session, "Seafood-Specific Social Responsibility Initiatives."
Irish economist Jim Power delivered the Day 2 Keynote Address with an overview of the major macroeconomic and demographic challenges facing Europe, with a keen focus on food production challenges.
The panel discussion, "Investing in Aquaculture: Funding the Future of Food," brought together, for the first time at GOAL, a group of investors focused on the aquaculture sector. Global Aquaculture Advocate Editor James Wright moderated the discussion with (from left to right) Michael Donner of Tinicum Inc. and Pontos Aqua Holdings; Gorjan Nikolik of Rabobank; Carsten Krome of Alimentos Ventures; and Jamie Stein of Devonian Capital.
A whirlwind of exciting, brief presentations, given in the PechaKucha 20X20 style, was kicked off by Neil Manchester of Hendrix Genetics. Each speaker had 20 slides that showed for 20 seconds each, giving each speaker a concise 6 minutes, 40 seconds. Manchester spoke about the increasing importance of genetics in breeding for aquaculture.
Larry Feinberg, CEO of KnipBio, followed with an intellectual look at one of the fast-emerging alternative aquafeed ingredients: single-cell organisms grown from bacteria. Feinberg said that KnipBio recently got its first commercial contract with a producer in the Asia-Pacific region.
Fanny Giudicelli of Marine Akwa delivered remarks related to the emerging technology surrounding probiotics from natural sources, including seaweed.
Thomas Myhre of NSK Ship Design gave attendees a look into new offshore fish farming technology designed for salmon farming in rough, cold ocean waters. His presentation centered on the Havfarm, or “Ocean Farm.” It's a series of net pens within the structure that could grow 10,000 tons of salmon.
Langley Gace of InnovaSea Systems expertly spoke to how his company is overcoming the unique challenges of farming fish in "open ocean" conditions, with a keen focus on how the technology is currently performing 12 kilometers off the shore of Panama.
Miguel Flavian of Oritain introduced the audience to the concept of forensic traceability and "chemical fingerprints" that can help producers in a given region create a profile for their products that is impossible to counterfeit.
The seventh and final PechaKucha presenter, LoveTheWild CEO Jacqueline Claudia, brought the house down with an emotional and colorful style that is fast becoming her trademark.
GAA President George Chamberlain hands the Global Aquaculture Innovation Award to Walt Rakitsky of Corbion, formerly TerraVia. The company's AlgaPrime, an aquafeed ingredient created by fermenting microalgae, is already making waves with a commercial farmed salmon producer in Chile.
Anthony Wan of Gfresh, a B2B online seafood sales platform based in China, speaks during the first Marketplace Roundtable panel discussion.
Frank Huang of JD.com, an online consumer foods platform, speaks during the first Marketplace Roundtable panel discussion.
Carsten Krome of Alimentos Ventures gives attendees of the afternoon breakout session, "On the Horizon: Meet Tomorrow’s Aquaculture Innovators" an overview of the typical lifecycle for aquaculture investments.
Dr. Donal O'Shea of Irish company Microsynbiotix was one of four startup companies to present during the breakout session, "On the Horizon: Meet Tomorrow’s Aquaculture Innovators." Microsynbiotix is developing cost-effective oral vaccines for aquaculture.
The Global Aquaculture Alliance staff took a rare moment to pose for a group photograph at the Guinness Storehouse during the Gala Reception and Dinner.
Day 3 Keynote speaker JP McMahon is one of Ireland’s best known chefs. He shared with the audience his passion for honest, open and accessible cooking, with a dash of humor. McMahon, who runs three Galway restaurants with his wife, is also a food columnist at the Irish Times. And sometimes he wears flowers in his beard.
GAA organized a student chef cook-off at the Dublin Institute of Technology’s School of Culinary Arts & Food Technology on Saturday, Sept. 30, featuring farmed seafood. The winner was Sarah McCabe from Cavan, Ireland.
Johnson & Wales University professor and seafood industry veteran Jim Griffin unveiled results of a 2017 survey of UK chefs, gauging their knowledge of aquaculture and farmed seafood.
Patrick McMurray, owner of The Ceili Cottage in Toronto, and the World Champion Oyster Shucker, talked about the concept of meroir in oysters and basically made everyone hungry.
Derrick Guss of Disney participated in the final Marketplace Roundtable discussion, which focused on the foodservice industry.
Bob Yudovin of Harvest Meat Co. also spoke on the Marketplace Roundtable, one of the final events of GOAL.
Eric Buckner of Sysco Corp. talked during the Marketplace Roundtable panel discussion.
Travis Larkin of The Seafood Exchange once again delivered his unique takeaways. When Larkin takes the stage, you know that GOAL is about to conclude.
A view of Dublin, from the Etihad Skyline atop Dublin's Croke Park stadium. On behalf of everyone at GAA, thank for you for attending another exceptional GOAL conference. (Courtesy photo.)
Recapping four busy days at the Global Outlook for Aquaculture Leadership conference, in photographs A lens-eye view of the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s GOAL 2017 conference, which was held earlier this month at Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland, home of the “other GAA,” the Gaelic Athletic Association.