Marcelo Varela, CEO of Billund Aquaculture Chile, underscored how important it was for the industry to meet up again at AquaSur. "We have continued to work with our clients for the last two years despite the pandemic. However, it was important to have the opportunity to finally leave videoconferences and remote meetings aside and meet up face to face."
Just to show how much time has passed, Varela said that during AquaSur 2018, post-smolt projects in Chile were only in their infancy and the idea was still being developed. "What we saw back then was a potential. Today, we can say that it is a reality and there are two post smolt projects - Los Arrayanes belonging to Salmones Austral and Astilleros belonging to Multisea", he said.
Likewise, he added that "Billund Aquaculture played a key part in helping these initiatives become a reality along with important clients who understood the need, the advantages and the benefits of post-smolt operations and opted to be part of these pioneering projects. For that very reason, AquaSur 2022 was an important opportunity for the industry to meet and discuss the new cycle of projects and where the Chilean industry is headed in the next three years."
Pablo Rojas, Billund Aquaculture Chile's Technical Manager added that another important topic that was discussed during the fair was the ongoing water shortage. "This is a trend that we have been seeing for a long time. The gradual decrease in water courses, or their availability for aquaculture, was a recurring topic of conversation with clients this year, given that we ended 2021 with a 45% water deficit. Another area frequently discussed was the need to introduce technology for water recirculation or reuse to deal with the limited access to fresh water for the different land-based farms in Chile," he said.
Meanwhile, Bjarne Hald Olsen, Billund's Operations and Business Development Manager, said that customers were mentioning the importance of process automation and digitization in RAS given the enormous increase in RAS facilities worldwide."It is always ideal to automate the greatest number of processes, in order to achieve optimal operation of our technologies," he said.
Olsen is a veteran of AquaSur shows, having attended the very first ones. And this year was no different, as he traveled especially to Chile from Denmark to attend.
"I have been visiting Chile since the late 1990s and it has been great to be able to keep coming here. I think it's fantastic, and it means a lot to me, to have the opportunity to meet up with Chilean co-workers and our clients in person. But even more importantly, I love this country and its people," Olsen said.
As previously mentioned, during AquaSur, Olsen had time to meet with area managers, freshwater managers, several suppliers and even the Danish Ambassador to Chile, Jens Godtfredsen.
Billund Aquaculture's Global Marketing Coordinator, Trinidad Cortés, also agrees that having the chance to meet face to face with clients, suppliers and the aquaculture industry in general was what the company missed the most during the pandemic. "The chance to meet up again was what really motivated us to have a stand at AquaSur 2022. We wanted to create a warm and bright meeting point and provide visitors with a welcoming experience where they could interact. The feedback we received was very positive and we are very pleased with the level of conversations we heard regarding RAS and how it bodes for the future," the executive said.
Visit the digital plataform AquaSur Connect here