Are you a student, farmer, chef or just an aquaculture enthusiast who is interested in attending the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s GOAL 2018 conference in Guayaquil, Ecuador, but may not possess the financial means to do so? GAA is offering a sponsored delegate program whereby a first-time delegate can apply to be matched with a sponsor. If matched, the sponsor will offsets the cost of the delegate’s registration and lodging (up to four nights in the Hilton Colon Guayaquil). To apply, please fill out an application form and submit it by March 31 to GAA’s Steven Hedlund at


Interested in helping a student, farmer, chef or just an aquaculture enthusiast attend GOAL 2018? GAA is offering a sponsored delegate program whereby part of a sponsor’s contribution goes toward registration and lodging for a first-time delegate. In addition to helping a passionate individual break into the industry, sponsors receive logo placement onsite and online, display advertising in the Global Aquaculture Advocate and one complimentary registration to GOAL 2018. Interesting in sponsoring? Please contact GAA’s Sally Krueger at Please help one of these aquaculture enthusiasts join us at GOAL 2018!

Maira Alejandra Hinostroza Canturin

Maira Hinostroza Canturin

Universidad Tecnológica Nacional

Maira is a fisheries engineer with a passion for aquaculture. At Universidad Nacional del Callao in Perú, Maira focused on nutrition and diet in the production of fingerlings. She helped establish an aquaculture research center at her university and worked for Piscifactoría El Mao, focused on tilapia and shrimp nutrition, diet and culture.

GOAL 2018 “would be a great opportunity to learn about the reality of aquaculture from the experience of the great ones,” she says.

Patricia Barrera

Trout Managers SAS

Patricia is the owner of Trout Managers SAS in Colombia. After 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry, Patricia switched careers in 2016 to follow her passion for aquaculture, particularly trout farming and recirculating aquaculture systems.

“I am passionate about the subject, and my vision is to grow production with the best standards and best practices. [GOAL] will allow me to increase my networking in this beautiful industry,” she says.

Samantha Thammahong

Samantha Thammahong

University of Wisconsin-Madison
United States

Samantha is pursuing her master’s degree in comparative biomedical sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working with the pathogenic strain of Vibrio parahaemolyticus and its effect on the innate immune system of Pacific white shrimp.

“I am interested in attending GOAL to kickstart my career. I am extremely passionate about shrimp aquaculture, and considering Ecuador is a major producer it would afford me many opportunities in the industry,” she says.

Nate Sibinga

Nate Sibinga

Cornell University
United States

Nate is a Ph.D. student at Cornell University, studying nutrition and health in the context of sustainable aquafeeds, with a focus on insect-based feed ingredients. He has degrees from Brown University and Brooklyn College and was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Bergen.

“It is important to me that the work I do has a positive real-world impact. I want to attend GOAL to meet like-minded people who are in a position to help me leverage my research experience and interests into lasting change,” he says.

Whitney Thiel

Whitney Thiel

University of Wisconsin-Madison
United States

Whitney’s passion for aquaculture began while working for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, which led her to pursue a master’s degree at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Through Sea Grant-funded research, she’s studying viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSv) in freshwater fish, working on validating a non-lethal ELISA testing method.

“I am very interested in the field of aquatic animal health and its real world applications to sustainable aquaculture. GOAL would provide me with excellent networking opportunities and help me learn how I can contribute to sustainable aquaculture,” she says.


Blessing Mboma Mapfumo

Aquaculture Association of South Africa
World Aquaculture Society, Africa Chapter
South Africa

Blessing has over 15 years of experience in aquaculture development, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, working with governments, private-sector entities and NGOs. Lately, he’s been working to establish the Africa Chapter of the World Aquaculture Society, based in South Africa. “GOAL is such a great opportunity to network with aquaculture professionals from several countries,” he says.