The Norwegian aquaculture industry today holds one of its major annual events, as doors open on the AqKva conference.
Around 600 participants are expected to attend today's event, held in Bergen, Norway. The conference includes keynote presentations, a trade exhibition and networking events.
The conference organisers note that a key feature of the annual event is its role as an effective networking hub, aiming to facilitate interactions among various industry segments, and bridging the gap between suppliers and customers.
This year's conference features speakers from a range of industry sectors, including a highly-anticipated keynote from Trond Håkon Schaug-Pettersen, CEO of Salmon Evolution, whose recent trading update reported remarkable success after the land-based company's first full year in operation.
Other featured speakers include Even Tronstad Sagebakken, State Secretary for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and Jan Tore Fagertun, head of aquaculture research at SINTEF Ocean.
Originally centered on marine species farming, particularly cod, the AqKva conference debuted in Stord in 2004. In its early stages, the event attracted around 70-80 attendees, a figure that has steadily grown over the years.
As the salmon industry has grown in strength, the conference pivoted its focus from cod to salmon. This shift included an emphasis on research, technological advancement, and the broader development of the salmon industry, according to the Aqkva conference website.
Among the day's expected highlights is the presentation of the annual AqKva Award, which the organisers explain is "given to an actor in the aquaculture industry who, through a special effort or long-term commitment, has taken the industry a step forward and set an example to follow and thus earned a tribute from the entire aquaculture industry".
Last year's award was given to Einar Holmefjord, former skipper and founder of Svana AS, who invented the "Lift Up" system to remove waste from salmon farm net pens.