Schedule

*Event schedule subject to change

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Registration/Trade Show Open/Networking Breakfast

8:00 AM - 8:15 AM

Welcome Remarks

8:15 AM - 9:00 AM

Keynote: Kingfish Maine: Project Updates and Insights

Speaker: Megan Sorby, Operations Manager, Kingfish Maine

The Kingfish Company is making its way to the USA with its Kingfish Maine recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility. The operation will be located in Jonesport, Maine, and will look to establish a significant local sustainable seafood production for U.S. retailers and food service.

Join us as we welcome Kingfish Maine Operations Manager, Megan Sorby, a recipient of the Hatchery International 2021 Top 10 Under 40 Program, who will open the RASTECH 2022 Conference with her keynote presentation. Sorby will look to give attendees a technical overview of the Kingfish Maine operation, discuss the technologies to be incorporated in the facility, the operating strategy and expected challenges to be faced, training staff and ensuring they are equipped for success, and more. Audience members can look forward to hearing about the Kingfish Maine project, from an operator’s point-of-view, during this opening keynote.

 

9:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Networking Break

9:30 AM -
 12:00 PM

Morning Sessions

Click the title above to view our current morning sessions

RAS FEED + NUTRITION MANAGEMENT

Session Chair: Jason Mann, Director of Nutrition, Riverence Trout Farms

Speakers:

  • Alex Tsappis, Alltech
  • Steve Backman, Product Manager/ Veterinarian at Skretting
  • Craig Browdy, Director of Research and Development at Zeigler Brothers Inc.
  • Mikkel Detz Jensen, RAS Specialist at BioMar

Fish feed can be tricky, and the aquaculture industry continues to tirelessly work on finding the best, well-rounded and nutritious feeds for fish, especially those in a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). During this session, industry experts discuss today’s major feed trends, how these trends can potentially change in the future, how specific feed ingredients can affect a fish’s health, the essentials of RAS feeds, the barriers for growth as well as the opportunities for more sustainable, RAS-friendly fish nutrition, and common RAS feed challenges and solutions.

AQUAPONICS

Session Chair: Huy Tran, Aquatic Equipment & Design

Speakers:

  • Huy Tran, Huy Tran, Aquatic Equipment & Design
  • Tim Hovanec, DrTim’s Aquatics

Join us as we discuss all things aquaponics, which is an integrated approach to produce edible fish and plants in recirculating systems. This session will include topics such as engineering components, mass balances to design an efficient system, the dynamics of beneficial and pathogenic bacteria, food safety for ready-to-eat plants, and common myths and mistakes for operating these innovative systems.

RAS PROJECTS

Moderator: Ron Hill, Velocity Aqua

Speakers:

  • Justin Henry, BSc MEng RPBio, West Coast Salmon
  • Erik Heim, Founder & President of Nordic Aquafarms Inc.
  • Jens Jensen, Business Development/Sales Manager at Graintec
  • Chris Kinasewich, VEK Environmental

The recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) sector is only continuing to grow, and there are a number of new and innovative RAS facility, feed mill, and operation projects on the go. Join us for updates and insights to some of the sector’s ongoing and recently-completed projects. Discover the new technologies and innovations being utilized, plans for day-to-day operations, challenges faced during the project processes and solutions and best practices used to mitigate them, as well as major takeaways and lessons learned.

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Networking Lunch

1:30 PM
 -
 3:30 PM

Early Afternoon Sessions

Click the title above to view our current morning sessions

RAS CURRENT APPLICATIONS & FUTURE CHALLENGES

Session Chair: Maddi Badiola, Project Leader & RAS Specialist at HTH full spectrum llc & President at Aquacultural Engineering Society

Speakers:

  • Marlon Greensword, Postdoctoral Research Associate at Texas Christian University and Member of Aquacultural Engineering Society’s Board of Directors
  • James Flaherty, President & CEO of Adsorptech
  • Emmanuel Briquet, Founder and CEO of SEAREN LLC; Developer of the Vacuum AirLift (VAL) Technology in North America
  • Dan Farkas, Project Leader and Co-Founder at HTH Full Spectrum Aquaculture LLC
  •  Mark Spelder, ISCO Industries
  • Jeffrey M. Hinshaw, Ph.D.  Professor and Aquaculture Specialist, Department of Applied Ecology, NC State University

The recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) industry is continually evolving due to technological innovations. Understanding current applications and main limitations are essential to identify better solutions and areas of improvement for managers and facing future challenges. The Aquacultural Engineering Society’s (AES) session is inviting company leaders, researchers, system suppliers, and consultants to meet some prominent technology leaders and developers to gain an overall understanding of system impediments and opportunities for improvement, and how these developments can assist in a positive way.

PRODUCT SHOWCASE

Moderator: Jean Ko Din, RAStech Magazine

Join us for a fun rapid-fire round (7 minutes each) of product showcasing from some of our RASTECH exhibitors. Hear a snapshot about their latest recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) technologies, equipment, and products. Then follow up with them on the trade show floor for more information.

  • A New Angle in Aquaculture – Dustin Schulz, Optimal Aquafeed
  • Charlie Granfelt, Skretting
  • Facility design elements that enhance biosecurity – John Schook, Hansen-Rice
  • Huy Tran, Aquatic Equipment & Design
  • Joe Tordella, Morris & Associates, Inc.
  • Ryan Vasak, Merck Animal Health
  • Walter Renz, Linde
  • Paw Petersen, OxyGuard International

HIGH-PERFORMANCE IN RAS HATCHERIES

Session Chair: Carlos Lopez, Spring Genetics

Speakers:

  • Carlos Tudela, University of Miami
  • Adapted genetics for land-based salmon production – Andrew Preston, Benchmark Genetics

How do you achieve high-performing stock in a RAS hatchery? Be sure to join us for a discussion where salmon, marine fish, and feed specialists will focus on how good-performing genetics and RAS go hand-in-hand, growth rates and how they’re magnified in RAS hatcheries, and working with live feeds.

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Networking Break

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Late Afternoon Sessions

Click the title above to view our current morning sessions

RAS CURRENT APPLICATIONS & FUTURE CHALLENGES


Session Chair: Maddi Badiola, Project Leader & RAS Specialist at HTH full spectrum llc & President at Aquacultural Engineering Society

Speaker:

  • Carlos Lopez, Commercial and Operations Manager at Spring Genetics
  • Jonathan Smith, Sales Director for Balmoral Tanks, UK
  • Roundtable discussion – Carlos Lopez, Benchmark Genetics; Jonathan Smith, Balmoral Tanks; and Dan Farkas, Full Spectrum Aquaculture

The recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) industry is continually evolving due to technological innovations. Understanding current applications and main limitations are essential to identify better solutions and areas of improvement for managers and facing future challenges. The Aquacultural Engineering Society’s (AES) session is inviting company leaders, researchers, system suppliers, and consultants to meet some prominent technology leaders and developers to gain an overall understanding of system impediments and opportunities for improvement, and how these developments can assist in a positive way.

RAS FISH HEALTH

Session Chair: Kathleen Hartman, USDA APHIS & Bill Keleher, Kennebec River Biosciences

Speakers:

  • Bill Keleher, Kennebec River Biosciences
  • Kathleen Hartman, USDA APHIS
  • Chris Good, Freshwater Institute

The bottom-line in any recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility is the health and welfare of the fish being farmed. Join the RAS Fish Health session to discuss mitigating disease in a RAS, understanding the impact of aquaculture health management, and national aquaculture health plan standards and its effects on RAS.

RAS START-UP, STRATEGIES, & RISK ASSESSMENT

Session Chair: Ole C. Norvik, AquaCon

Speaker:

  • Joe Cardenas, AQUACO
  • Yedod Snir, MirYam Aquaculture Projects

There are many challenges to overcome and important points to remember when looking to build a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) operation, but the whole process starts with regulatory requirements. What challenges do we face with regulatory requirements when looking to locate and start a RAS operation, and how can they become easier to mitigate, as the sector evolves and develops?

5 PM

Cocktail Reception/Evening Socials

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Registration/Trade Show Open/Networking Breakfast

9:30 AM -
 12:00 PM

Morning Sessions

Click the title above to view our current morning sessions

BIOSECURITY IN RAS HATCHERIES

Session Chair: Ron Hill, Velocity Aqua

Speakers:

  • Gary Myers, AquaMaof
  • Matthijs Metselaar, Aquatic Vets Ltd.
  • Dan Paynter, Hatchery Operations Manager at Atlantic Aqua Farms Ltd.

Biosecurity is important in any RAS facility and plays a big role in achieving optimal health and welfare for stock, but what extra measures need to be taken in RAS hatcheries? Experts will discuss the importance of design, best practices and safety protocols, live feeds, and fish nutrition.

 

ENGINEERING INNOVATIONS

Session Chair: Christopher Good, Freshwater Institute

Speakers:

  • Introduction to The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute – Chris Good, Freshwater Institute
  • Effect of commercial diets on water quality, waste capture, and post-smolt Atlantic salmon performance in freshwater RAS – John Davidson, Freshwater Institute
  • Assessing peracetic acid application methodology and impact on fluidized sand biofilter performance – Christine Lepine, Research Associate, Freshwater Institute
  • Effect of image quality on convolutional neural network-aided machine learning model accuracy for in-tank fish detection in a RAS – Rakesh Rajan, Research Scientist, Freshwater Institute
  • The effects of two water temperature regimes on Atlantic salmon growth performance and maturation – Curtis Crouse, Freshwater Institute

Join the Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute’s experts in a session that will look into the current research and development (R&D) projects, studies, and discoveries being made at the Institute, to drive forward the recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) sector.

PRODUCT SHOWCASE

Moderator: Jean Ko Din, RAStech Magazine

Join us for a fun rapid-fire round (7 minutes each) of product showcasing from some of our RASTECH exhibitors. Hear a snapshot about their latest recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) technologies, equipment, and products. Then follow up with them on the trade show floor for more information.

  • Humane Slaughter: Food for Thought – Sam Bowman, Ace Aquatec Inc.
  • EcoGenX Oxygen VPSA – Jim Flaherty, Adsorptech
    Vacuum Air Lift – Emmanuel Briquet, Searen
  • Artificial Intelligence Biomass and Feeding Technology for land-based fish farms – Matthew Zimola, ReelData
  • HDPE Piping – Mark Spelder, ISCO Industries
  • Generation 10 Spring Tilapia – Carlos Lopez, Benchmark Genetics
  • Jonathan Smith, Balmoral Tanks Ltd.
  • George Tenhagen, Asahi/America, Inc.
  • Ron Malone, Aquaculture Systems Technologies
  • Henning Gatz, Aquacare Environment Inc
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Networking Lunch

1:30 PM
 -
 3:30 PM

Early Afternoon Sessions

Click the title above to view our current morning sessions

RAS RESEARCH & FINDINGS

Session Chairs:

  • David Kuhn, Virginia Tech
  • Yonathan Zohar, University of Maryland Baltimore County

Speakers:

  • Yonathan Zohar, University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • Matt Craze, Spheric Research
  • Global University Support in the Industry – David Kuhn, Virginia Tech
  • USDA ARS

In 2021, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) received a US$10 million grant to carry out a set of aquaculture-focused projects. Led by Professor Yonathan Zohar, the Sustainable Aquaculture Systems Supporting Atlantic Salmon (SAS2) project, which is part of the Recirculating Aquaculture Salmon Network (RAS-N) project also led by Zohar, will address a range of challenges still hindering the success of emerging aquaculture platforms, and includes many academic and federal research institutes. Join Zohar, and Virginia Tech Professor David Kuhn, who will look into important areas of research currently being studied through the SAS2 project, as well as at various educational institutes, to further develop the sector’s knowledge and understanding of RAS.

TECHNOLOGIES FOR PRODUCTION ENHANCEMENT

Moderator: Ron Hill, Velocity Aqua

Speakers:

  • The implications of spectral sensitivity for UV disinfection in RAS operation, and UV and microbiota changes in RAS – Ytzhak Rozenberg, Atlantium Water Technologies
  • Reducing Excessive Calcium Concentration in Saline Well Water by Automated Monitoring, Control, and Alarm System (MCAS) for Use in Marine Fish Aquaculture – Kerry Mesner,
  • Effective Aquaculture, Trying to Do it the Right Way, the RASWay – John Holder, JLH Consulting

Recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) and related technologies are constantly being studied, redeveloped, and modified to achieve more efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable operations. Join us as we look into the various technical applications of innovative equipment being utilized to enhance RAS production.

ENGINEERING INNOVATIONS

Session Chair: Christopher Good, Freshwater Institute

Speakers:

  • Effects of water temperature increases and winter signal photoperiod on early maturation in Atlantic salmon post-smolts – Chris Good, Freshwater Institute
  • Anaerobic digestion of waste sludge from two different fish diets in a recirculating aquaculture system – Abhinav Choudhury, Freshwater Institute
  • Performance characterization of a diffused aeration basin of carbon dioxide removal in RAS – Laura Bailey, Freshwater Institute
  • Off-flavour observations – Factors influencing accumulation in RAS, microbial characterization, and Atlantic salmon taste threshold – John Davidson, Freshwater Institute

Join the Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute’s experts in a session that will look into the current research and development (R&D) projects, studies, and discoveries being made at the Institute, to drive forward the recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) sector.

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Networking Break

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Late Afternoon Sessions/Trade Show close at 3.30pm

Click the title above to view our current morning sessions

ADDRESSING OFF-FLAVOUR

Moderator: David Kuhn, Virginia Tech

Off-flavour compounds (natural compounds such as geosmin and Methyl-Isoborneol [MIB]) can accumulate in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). These compounds can accumulate in the water column and into the aquatic species being cultured. This negatively contributes to off-flavours in the products being sold as seafood. Join us as we look at strategies to minimize off-flavor compounds in seafood cultured in RAS.

Speakers:

  • Chris Haughey, Exciton Clean
  • Guillaume Salze, KnipBio

RAS FISH HEALTH

Session Chair: Kathleen Hartman, USDA APHIS & Bill Keleher, Kennebec River Biosciences

Speakers:

  • U.S. importation of aquatic animals – Real world considerations – Bill Keleher, Kennebec River Biosciences
  • National aquaculture health plan and standards – What it means for RAS – Kathleen Hartman, USDA APHIS
  • Eric Pedersen, Ideal Fish

The bottom-line in any recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility is the health and welfare of the fish being farmed. Join the RAS Fish Health session to discuss mitigating disease in a RAS, understanding the impact of aquaculture health management, and national aquaculture health plan standards and its effects on RAS.

RAS START-UP, STRATEGIES, & RISK-ASSESSMENT

Session Chair: Ron Hill, Velocity Aqua

Speaker:

  • Joe Cardenas, AQUACO
  • Joe Sweeney, Eagles Catch

Building your own recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) business and operations is no easy feat, and takes years of planning, research, team work, and industry knowledge. Join this session to hear experts discuss tips, strategies, and challenges to keep in mind, when developing your RAS business and operations.

5:15 PM - 5:30 PM

Closing Plenary

Speakers

Abhinav Choudhury
Environmental Research Engineer, Freshwater Institute

Abhinav Choudhury, Ph.D., is an Environmental Research Engineer at The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute. He is responsible for research on investigation of strategies for improving the environmental impact and economic viability of intensive land-based aquaculture production, providing waste management and waste conversion expertise for external projects, and assisting industry partners with problems related to waste management and waste conversion.

Amy Riedel-Stone
President & Owner at Aquatic Equipment & Design

Amy Riedel-Stone has over 20 years of experience with designing, building and managing aquaculture and aquaponics greenhouses as well as zoo and aquarium filtration systems. She has managed hatcheries, live feeds and grow-out for marine finfish as well as an aquaponics greenhouse. She previously worked at Aquatic Eco-systems for over 14 years before opening her own company after AES was acquired.

Andrew Preston
Global Technical Manager for RAS at Benchmark Genetics

Andrew Preston, is the global technical manager for RAS at Benchmark Genetics. He has a strong research and production background in salmon aquaculture and within recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). Preston plays a key role in Benchmark’s technical support for land-based customers globally including the UK salmon farming industry. Prior to joining Benchmark, Preston worked with AquaMaof as head of production and at the University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture after completing his Ph.D. Preston is part of the U.K.-based Benchmark Genetics team, which has extensive experience in many aquaculture fields including feed, health, and production. Preston also undertakes research focused on developing the portfolio of products for Benchmark Genetics land-based customers.

Aran Lavi
VP and Head of Sales for Europe and Global Aquaculture, Atlantium Illuminating Water Technologies


Aran Lavi is an experienced sales and marketing manager operating in international markets. In his role, Lavi looks to strengthen and develop Atlantium’s solutions as a reliable, environmentally-friendly, sustainable water biosecurity solution for land-based aquaculture facilities, recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), and closed-containment cages.

Carlos Lopez
Commercial and Operations Manager at Spring Genetics

Since 2018, Carlos Lopez has been on the Spring Genetics team working in a managerial position. Lopez has been responsible for managing daily operations, developing and implementing production protocols, and managing consumables. Lopez obtained his B.Sc. in soil and water science from the University of Florida, and his master’s degree in aquaculture from the University of Miami.

Carlos Tudela
Assistant Manager at the University of Miami Experimental Hatchery


As the assistant manager at the University of Miami Experimental Hatchery (UMEH), Carlos Tudela oversees all UMEH operations including broodstock, larval rearing, shipments, equipment maintenance, fish health, data collection/experiments, and personnel training. In 2013, Tudela received his M.S. from Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), investigating maximum fishmeal replacement with soybean, on near harvestable size cobia. From 2016 to 2017, Tudela was project manager for Aqquua Thailand where he helped design and construct a 400m3 recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) for hybrid grouper. He also helped Aqquua raise grouper to market in flow-through systems and ponds. He has consulted for various companies taround the world assisting in marine finfish production, transfer of technology, project design and development, and staff training.

Catarina Muia
Editor of RAStech and Hatchery International magazines

From Toronto, Ont., Catarina Muia is the editor of RAStech and Hatchery International magazines. After completing two diplomas in journalism at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont., Muia went on to become an advertorial coordinator and freelance photographer at Metroland Media Group. After moving on from Metroland Media, Muia became the editor of a stainless steel and corrosion-resistant materials publication, with an emphasis on the North, South and Central American markets. In her current role as editor at publishing company, Annex Business Media, Muia is immersed in the world of aquaculture, overseeing all print, digital, and event projects of the RAStech and Hatchery International brands. Aside from her responsibilities in the aqua division, Muia is also print and digital editor of cannabis brand, Grow Opportunity magazine.

Charlie Granfelt
Commercial & Marketing Manager CAS at Skretting Group

Swedish national Charlie Granfelt joined Skretting Norway in 2009. He is an experienced commercial leader operating in international markets. In addition to eight years as sales director in Norway, Granfelt recently completed an assignment of four years in France as general manager for Skretting France. Since his return to the Skretting Group Office in Stavanger, Norway, Granfelt heads up the global sales- and marketing activities in the closed aquaculture systems (CAS) segment, including land-based recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), flow-through, hybrids, and closed-containment technologies.

Chris Haughey
CEO of Exciton Clean


Chris Haughey is the CEO of Exciton Clean, an early-stage water technology company that is pioneering the use of Advanced Oxidation Processes in RAS aquaculture, aquatic environments and other water applications. Haughey is a serial entrepreneur and the cofounder of Tegu, an innovative and award-winning toy manufacturing and distribution company which he founded in Honduras, and grew to scale for over 10 years. Prior to starting Tegu, he began his career at The Boston Consulting Group as a management consultant to a varied array of large clients spanning North America, Latin America, and Europe. Having studied mechanical engineering at Stanford University, Haughey is skilled in business strategy development, product design, manufacturing process development and the execution and scaling of innovative business models.

Chris Kinasewich
VEK Environmental

Christine Lepine
Research Associate, Freshwater Institute

Christine Lepine is a Research Associate at The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute, focusing on effluent water quality and wastewater management of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). Lepine holds an M.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies, with a concentration in Natural Resource Management, from Shepherd University.

Christopher Good
Director of Research at the Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute

Chris Good is the director of research at The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute. His focus is on developing and overseeing the institute’s aquaculture research programs, producing peer-reviewed publications, presenting research findings at international scientific conferences, and interacting with key industry, government and non-profit stakeholders. Since 2007, Good has worked as an aquatic veterinarian focusing on the performance, health and welfare of recirculating aquaculture system (RAS)-produced food fish, as well as providing aquatic animal health and epidemiology services for off-site stakeholders. Good holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the Ontario Veterinary College in Canada. Good is also a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventative Medicine and a Certified Aquatic Veterinarian with the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association.

Craig Browdy
Director of Research and Development at Zeigler Brothers Inc.

Craig Browdy has more than 35 years of experience in aquaculture, managing commercial, academic, and government research programs. Browdy is a past president of the World Aquaculture Society, Dr. Browdy’s research has focused on the application of aquaculture technologies to improve availability of seafood resources. His work has applied basic science and innovative technology development to commercialization of new products, advancement of production systems, and improvement of fish and shrimp health and nutrition. As Director of R&D at Zeigler Brothers Inc., Browdy has looked to further strengthen the company’s product and technology development programs.

Curtis Crouse
Research Support Specialist, Freshwater Institute

Curtis Crouse is a Research Support Specialist at The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute. He is responsible for recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) operation and management, constructing experiment set-ups, developing sample collection and analysis methods, and compiling and summarizing research results in reports, presentations, and industry and peer-reviewed articles. In 2020, Crouse was recognized by Hatchery International as a Top 10 Under 40 hatchery professional. Before coming to The Freshwater Institute, Crouse managed zebrafish research systems and worked at a fish hatchery for a state department of natural resources. He holds a Master of Science in Zoology from Southern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences from the University of Maryland.

Dan Farkas
Project Leader and Co-Founder at HTH Full Spectrum Aquaculture LLC

Dan Farkas is an experienced recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) operator, project manager, and co-founder of HTH Full Spectrum Aquaculture, currently based in Jensen Beach, Fla. Farkas specializes in marine aquaculture operations and facility management, and has extensive experience with species including cobia, pompano, and shrimp.

Dan Paynter
Hatchery Operations Manager at Atlantic Aqua Farms Ltd.

Dan Paynter has more than 10 years of experience as a hatchery operations manager, first at Halibut PEI and now at Atlantic Aqua Farms Ltd. He has experience managing all aspects of a fully-integrated RAS facility system, from broodstock to hatchery, nursery and growout.

David Kuhn
Associate Professor of Food Science and Technology at Virginia Tech

David Kuhn has more than 20 years of experience in civil engineering and environmental technology. He is currently the Associate Professor and Extension Specialist of Food Science and Technology at Virginia Tech. He has published more than 100 journal articles on seafood quality, aquaculture research and outreach programs.

Dustin Schulz
Founder of Optimal Fish Food and Optimal Aquafeed


Dustin Schulz is a founder of Optimal Fish Food and Optimal Aquafeed. He has a strong background in nutrition, extrusion, feed research, and ingredient development. He leads a group committed to creating a new type of fish food supplier focused on open dialogue, innovative solutions, and based in customer service.

Emmanuel Briquet
Founder and CEO of SEAREN LLC; Developer of the Vacuum AirLift (VAL) Technology in North America

Emmanuel Briquet has dedicated his career to the development of sustainable aquaculture, founding organic-certified fish farm Provence Aquaculture, as well as Corse Aquaculture in Corsica, and SEAREN in the USA. Briquet is also the official representative of FAIVRE in North America. Briquet is an aquaculture expert for the French Department of Agriculture, the European Commission, the USDA, and the UNIDO (United Nations). His Cincinnati-based company, SEAREN, is the exclusive licence holder from COLDEP for the patented VAL technology in the Americas. The VAL has been the recipient of numerous awards, including its most recent, from the Solar Impulse Foundation, for its ‘efficient, clean and profitable solution’ for today’s world.

Eric Pedersen
President and Founder at Great American Aquaculture LLC (d/b/a Ideal Fish)


Eric Pedersen is the President and founder of Ideal Fish, an aquaculture company located in Waterbury, CT that produces 120 tons annually of European Seabass (aka Branzino) in a state-of-the-art recirculating aquaculture system. Ideal Fish has developed rigorous protocols to address fish stress, condition assessment and promote healthy growing conditions for its fish.  Eric is leading Ideal Fish’s plan to expand significantly in the United States, beginning in the Waterbury /central CT region where the Company can utilize the area’s robust industrial platform and easy access to major food markets across the northeast United States.   Prior to founding the Ideal Fish in 2013, Eric was the CEO of several technology companies focused on developing disruptive, water filtration products and systems for industrial markets.  He began his career on Wall Street.  Eric received an MBA from The Wharton Graduate School of Business in 1987 and graduated from Princeton University with a BA degree in 1982.

Erik Heim
Founder & President of Nordic Aquafarms Inc.

As the President of Nordic Aquafarms Inc, Erik Heim is in charge of expansion activities for Nordic Aquafarms in the US. Based on experience from its three operational farms in the Nordics, the company is expanding its recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) presence with new farms in Maine and California. Heim was the founder of Fredrikstad Seafoods and Nordic Aquafarms in 2014, and the CEO of Nordic Aquafarms in Norway until 2018 when he headed to the U.S. to establish expansion plans on both US coastlines. Nordic Aquafarms sells quality salmon and Yellowtail Kingfish products in the European market from its RAS production.

Gary Myers
Senior Technology Officer at AquaMaof


As a founder of AquaMaof, Gary Myers is responsible for the project design and equipment purchase for aquaculture facilities around the world, growing a huge range of fish species, from tilapia to trout, and Atlantic salmon to African catfish. In doing so, he leverages the experience he has accumulated during his 30-year professional career, highlights of which include designing land-based aquaculture facilities for Atlantic salmon that increased production from 2,500 tonnes/year to 60,000 tonnes/year; being granted two U.S. patents for intensive recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) design; and developing a project that received a national award from the US Department of Energy for Innovative Use of Waste Heat.

George Tenhagen
PE, District Manager at Asahi/America, Inc

George Tenhagen, district manager for Asahi/America, Inc, is a licensed professional environmental engineer in the State of Florida. He has been with Asahi/America for the seven years as a district manager for Florida and Georgia. He previously worked for Anheuser Busch and SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment as an environmental coordinator, facilities manager, and engineer. Tenhagen has extensive experience with building control systems, as well as water quality equipment and systems. He has designed several systems at Busch Gardens Tampa and participated in major safety related capital projects at various theme parks within the SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment family. His experience with controls includes DDC and analog systems dealing with both HVAC, life safety, lighting, and water quality equipment.

Guillaume Salze
Senior Scientist of Animal Nutrition at KnipBio


Guillaume Salze is an experienced aquaculture nutritionist with a demonstrated history of working in the food production industry. Salze possesses strong analytical skills, and knowledge and experience with research and development in aquaculture, marine biology, and fisheries.

Henning Gatz
Aquacare Environment Inc.

Henning Gatz, Founder and CEO of Aquacare Environment Inc. 35 years experience in agriculture and aquaculture equipment supply. Introduced factory coated bolt together steel tanks to the aquaculture industry in North America in 1987. BS Ag Sci Cal Poly SLO California.

Huy Tran
Senior Biologist and Co-Owner at Aquatic Equipment & Design

Huy Tran is a senior biologist and co-owner of Aquatic Equipment and Design. He has 30 years in the aquaculture industry, as a farm manager to system designer/integrator of RAS. He worked in the aquatic toxicology industry, managed multi-species (29) broodstock and hatchery production, producing aquatic organisms for testing. He has worked on turnkey aquaculture education systems and Aquaponics designs for the Aquatic Eco-Systems catalogs and sale from 1997 to 2014.

James Flaherty
President & CEO of Adsorptech

Jim Flaherty is the president and CEO of Adsorptech, a supplier of oxygen generating machinery. As the demand for oxygen increases with the ever-increasing recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility capacity requirements, the choices for oxygen sourcing expand relative to the smaller aquaculture facilities familiar with liquid oxygen and perhaps PSA oxygen generation. Each oxygen source has specific pros and cons that RAS designers and operators need to be aware of to achieve the ideal farm sustainability specific to their situation. With over 35 years designing, building, and operating industrial gas production facilities around the world, Flaherty is uniquely positioned to provide insight into determining the most cost-effective, reliable, and sustainable source of oxygen.

Jason Mann
Director of Nutrition, Riverence Trout Farms

Jason Mann is an experienced Director of Nutrition at Riverence Trout Farms with a demonstrated history of working in several key roles in the seafood production industry. Prior to joining Riverence (over 5 years ago), he worked for ~29 years with EWOS, Cermaq and Cargill Aqua Nutrition. He is a strong Animal Nutrition professional skilled in practical Feed Formulation, Raw Material Purchasing, Ingredient Development, Customer Service, Aquaculture, and Marketing. Jason works part-time as an Adjunct Professor at UBC, teaching a practical Fish Nutrition course to ready graduate students for working in our sector.

Jeffrey M. Hinshaw, Ph.D.
Professor and Aquaculture Specialist, Department of Applied Ecology, NC State University

Jeffrey M. Hinshaw, Ph.D.  Professor and Aquaculture Specialist, Department of Applied Ecology, NC State University
With over 35 years aquaculture experience. Dr. Hinshaw has served since 1985 as the primary Cool and Coldwater Aquaculture Specialist for North Carolina State University.  He has extensive experience with the commercial trout aquaculture industry as well as providing technical assistance and advice to other aquaculture producers in the state and beyond.  Dr. Hinshaw is a Fellow of the World Aquaculture Society, and has served as president of WAS, the US Aquaculture Society and of the US Trout Farmers Association.

Jens Jensen
Business Development/Sales Manager at Graintec

Jens Jensen, 43 years old, grew up on a Danish trout farm. Jensen has owned his own fish farms where he rebuilt most of the traditional flow through trout farm systems into recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), with a total production of 3,000 tons per year. Jensen sold the operations in 2011, and started up at AKVA group as a consultant one year later. In 2017, he joined one of the biggest construction companies in Denmark as a business developer and the head of the RAS department. In 2018, Jensen joined Graintec as a Business Developer with a focus on RAS and land-based feeding systems.

Joe Cardenas
Founder & CEO of Aquaco, LLC

Joe Cardenas is CEO of AQUACO, LLC, a marine land-based recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) operation. Based in Ft. Pierce, Fla., Aquaco’s goal is to expand the aquaculture industry in Florida and tap into a high-demand business model that looks to produce hundreds of jobs and draw more agriculture and ag tech investment into the state. The focus on novel species is attractive to the company from both a demand and margin standpoint. They are currently the only commercial scale RAS producers of Florida pompano in the Country. In his prior life, Cardenas oversaw commercial, business banking and retail operations in southeast Florida with three banks spanning 17 years. As a leader in the aquaculture industry in Florida, Cardenas serves on the Florida Department of Agriculture Innovation Council and the Board of Florida Aquaculture Association. Cardenas is a graduate of Widener University in Chester, P.A with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. A native South Floridian, Cardenas intends to continue to grow an Industry that is an ideal fit for the ‘Seafood’ State.

Joe Sweeney
CEO of Eagles Catch

Joe Sweeney is the CEO of Eagles Catch, an aquaculture production company launched in 2016. Eagle’s Catch focuses on commercial-scale production of tilapia for niche markets. Sweeney grew up on a traditional family farm in Iowa, near Eagle’s Catch facility, and received a B.Sc. from Iowa State University and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

John Davidson
Research Scientist, Freshwater Institute

John Davidson is a Research Scientist at The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute, where he has been employed for more than 20 years. Davidson manages research projects, contributes to grant proposals, and has authored numerous peer-reviewed and industry trade press publications spanning a range of topics including fish production technologies, fish biology and physiological performance, water quality, off-flavour remediation techniques, and sustainable aquafeeds. Davidson holds a Dr. Philos. from the University of Bergen, Norway, a Master of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Resources from West Virginia University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Shepherd University.

John Holder
President of JLH Consulting Inc.

As President of JLH Consulting Inc. for more than 20 years, John Holder takes on design work in aquaculture, which has included a large land-based hatchery in Benxi China, as well as commercial farms in the North and South Americas, Australia, Africa, and Europe, for both freshwater and marine species. Holder was previously the VP at Holder Timmons Engineering LLC, where he was responsible for the overall design and construction project management for several large-scale hatchery and land-based aquaculture facility projects. He also designed and developed advanced RAS and water treatment in the aquaculture industry.

John Schook
Director of Food & Beverage at Hansen-Rice, Inc.


As director with more than 30 years of industry experience, Schook assumes the role of project executive and manages complete project delivery. His knowledge and experience integrating complex food processing equipment on cold storage projects provides a unique, balanced perspective gained from developing capital projects. He has successfully managed a variety of greenfield construction, repurposing efforts, and expansion projects. Schook is directly involved in the planning, design reviews, estimates, and permitting process for clients. With his knowledge, Schook provides master planning services based on his experience where he advises on facility sizing, room separations, expansion capabilities, and more. Schook also assists clients with evaluating state and local markets to determine cities and targeted trade areas along with specific site locations for greenfield projects.

Jonathan Smith
Sales Director for Balmoral Tanks, UK

With over 25 years’ experience in the bolted steel storage tank industry, Smith’s knowledge set includes value engineering principles, tank coating application and performance, product delivery, and installation techniques.

Justin Henry
BSc MEng RPBio, West Coast Salmon

After studying aquaculture at University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada and Aalborg University in Denmark, Henry eventually managed all stages of aquaculture production including broodstock, hatchery, growout, processing, and sales. He has worked with recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) since 1995, built his first commercial RAS facility in 1998, and his first aquaponics system in 2010. Henry developed the monosex female Coho broodstock program in B.C. He chairs the Technical Committee for the Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standard and sits on the OIE and HOC group on Aquatic Animal Biosecurity. In 2017, Henry started Henry Aquaculture Consult Inc. (HACI) and in 2020 launched a Graduate Certificate in Aquaculture program at UBC. Henry is the CTO and Director of Aquaculture for West Coast Salmon.

Kathleen Hartman
Aquaculture Program Leader at USDA APHIS Veterinary Services

Kathleen Hartman is the Aquaculture Program Leader for USDA APHIS Veterinary Services [SPRS] at the University of Florida, Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory. Hartman received her M.Sc. from the University of Maryland, and both her DVM and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. She has a courtesy Assistant Professor appointment at the University of Florida, in the Program of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Hartman has served two consecutive terms on both the AVMA’s Food Safety Advisory Committee as well as the Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee. She currently serves on the Professional Standards Committee of the American Fisheries Society-Fish Health Section. She has been a certified AFS FHS Aquatic Animal Health Inspector since 2008. Hartman is the current Secretary of the World Aquaculture Society (WAS) and is a Past President of the USAS Chapter.

Kerry Mesner
Assistant Research Scientist with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)


Kerry Mesner is an assistant research scientist with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and has worked at the state operated marine sportfish hatchery for more than 20 years. Mesner has a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from the University of West Florida and a graduate certificate in aquaculture and fish health from the University of Florida. Mesner originally began working in one-acre ponds culturing marine sportfish extensively, but then moved indoors and transitioned to participation in recirculating aquaculture (RAS) research to improve technology of live feeds, larval, and fingerling culture. With the critical need for control and monitoring in the RAS, she learned to develop SCADA for applications such as water quality monitoring, photothermal conditioning, feeding, and water conditioning. Mesner is currently working on a major SCADA project, jointly with Dr. Jason Lemus and Josh Taylor, to use this technology for reducing calcium in saline groundwater for use in RAS at a newly-developed FWC marine sportfish hatchery, Marine Fisheries Enhancement Center (MFEC), in Apollo Beach, Fla.

Laura Bailey
Project Engineer, Freshwater Institute

Laura Bailey is a Project Engineer at The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute. Her work focuses on projects related to aquacultural and environmental engineering, primarily with clients interested in implementing recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) designs. Before coming to the Freshwater Institute, Bailey worked in Michigan with the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Otsego Conservation district. Laura is a Professional Engineer (P.E.), holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from Michigan State University, and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

Maddi Badiola
Project Leader & RAS Specialist at HTH full spectrum llc & President at Aquacultural Engineering Society

Maddi Badiola, Ph.D., is a RAS engineer, project manager and co-founder of HTH Full Spectrum, currently based in Getxo (Basque Country, Spain). Her specialties are project management, energy conservation, lifecycle assessments, and RAS global sustainability assessments.

Mark Spelder
Director of Sales, ISCO Industries

ISCO is the largest seller of HDPE pipe, fittings, fusion equipment, and custom fabrication in the world. ISCO has 30+ locations throughout U.S. and North America. Mark Spelder and ISCO have been involved in multiple recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) and aquaponic projects in North America over the last 18 months. Mark has been with ISCO for 24+ years holding multiple positions.

Marlon Greensword
Postdoctoral Research Associate at Texas Christian University and Member of Aquacultural Engineering Society’s Board of Directors

Marlon Greensword, Ph.D. is an Engineering Researcher at Texas Christian University, where he designs and evaluates biofilters. His specialties are aquaculture water and wastewater management, biofiltration, economic analysis, and the incorporation of lean process improvement into aquacultural engineering.

Matt Craze
Founder of Spheric Research

As founder of Spheric Research, Matt Craze has carried out consultancy projects in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. The company has carried out eight multi-client studies through an exclusive partnership with Undercurrent News. Through Spheric Research, Craze conducts business with several major agricultural and aquaculture companies, governments, and NGOs.

Megan Sorby
Operations Manager, Kingfish Maine

Megan Sorby has several years’ experience in the aquaculture industry, with her most recent positions as Hatchery Manager at Golden Eagle Sablefish and a consultant of True Blue Aqua. She has worked with several different species on opposite sides of the USA, and even in Canada. Today, Sorby is the Operations Manager at Kingfish Maine, and is overseeing, together with her team in Maine, the construction project of the new Jonesport, Maine facility for The Kingfish Company.

Mikkel Detz Jensen
RAS Specialist at BioMar

Mikkel Detz Jensen is educated Biologist from University of Copenhagen and has more than 20 years’ experience within aquaculture. Within his career he has been formulating feed, running benchmarks and proof of concept trials on RAS diets for feed companies. Mikkel has been giving extensive technical customer support covering feeding, pigmentation, water quality, management and farm design to farmers, mainly within the trout and salmon business in many different countries.

Rakesh Rajan
Research Scientist, Freshwater Institute

Rakesh Ranjan is a Research Scientist for The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute. He is responsible for research on precision aquaculture and utilizing sensing technologies, machine learning, and big data to enhance the productivity of intensive land-based aquaculture. His outreach includes writing peer-reviewed publications and presenting research findings at international scientific conferences. Rakesh holds a Ph.D. in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from Washington State University, a Master of Technology from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT – Kharagpur, India) and a Bachelor of Technology from the College of Technology (Pantnagar, India), both in Agricultural and Food Engineering.

Ron Hill
Founder and CEO of Velocity Aqua

Ron Hill is a 15-year aquaculture professional with a wide array of experience and skills. Ron has a strong background in hatchery operations, aquaculture education and aquaculture content. Ron is the founder and CEO of Velocity Aqua – Aquaculture Entrepreneur Support Service and the host of ‘Think Tanks – The Sustainable Aquaculture Podcast’.

Sam Bowman
Aquaculture & Seafood Specialist at Ace Aquatec Inc.


Sam Bowman has 30 years of management experience in the seafood industry in North America, Europe and Asia in various roles including: general manager, marketing manager, sales manager, business development manager, and consultant. Bowman has a B.Sc. in marine biology from the University of British Columbia (UBC). His experience includes both finfish and shellfish aquaculture technology with an emphasis on strategic planning, marketing and business development. Bowman is a seafood supply chain expert, a brand marketing specialist, and he has extensive experience in product development and value-added processing. Bowman has worked in senior management positions for both start-ups and multinational companies, including two of the world’s largest salmon aquaculture producers, Mowi and Cermaq. He has also held senior positions at aqua feed company, Skretting, and its parent company Nutreco.

Steve Backman
Product Manager/ Veterinarian at Skretting

Dr. Steven Backman has been with Skretting for 33 years now and has held several positions with the company. Backman is the Product Manager for recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) and health feeds at Skretting North America. Dr. Backman received his diploma in Agricultural Science from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College. He later received a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Guelph Ontario Veterinary College. From there, he went on to receive a diploma in Anatomical Pathology from the Ontario Vet College. He is accredited by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and serves as the IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee) veterinarian for the USDA Aquaculture Research Service in Maine. Backman has also published a number of papers in various scientific journals.

Tim Hovanec
Owner of DrTim’s Aquatics, LLC


As the founder of DrTim’s Aquatics LLC, Tim Hovanec oversees and leads the company’s development of natural, microbial-based products for aquaria of all sizes, aquatic life-support systems and aquaculture. DrTim’s Aquatics specializes in nitrifying bacteria, probiotic bacteria and bacteria to remove nitrate, phosphate and organics. For 17 years, Hovanec was the chief science officer of Aquaria Inc., the parent company of Marineland Aquarium Products, Aquarium Systems (Instant Ocean) and Perfecto Manufacturing. He earned his Ph.D. in ecology, evolution and marine biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he investigated the phylogenetics of nitrifying bacteria in aquaria and Mono Lake, Calif. Hovanec was the first to demonstrate that bacteria of the phylum Nitrospira were the active nitrite-oxidizing bacteria in aquatic systems such as aquaria. His work on nitrifying bacteria has led to the discovery of many new species of nitrifying bacteria in freshwater and saltwater systems and the granting of several U.S. and foreign patents.

speaker

Yedod Snir
MirYam Aquaculture Projects 

Yonathan Zohar
Chair of the Department of Marine Biotechnology, Director of the Aquaculture Research Center and former Director of the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, University of Maryland

Professor Yonathan Zohar is Chair of the Department of Marine Biotechnology, Director of the Aquaculture Research Center and former Director of the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, University of Maryland, USA. He has over 40 years of substantial record in the field of marine biotechnology with a focus on sustainable aquaculture. He is recognized globally for his pioneering research and development on high value marine fish which he has translated into commercial applications in the aquaculture industry. He currently serves as the leader of two national, multi-million-dollar interdisciplinary public-private-federal consortia that aim at building capacity for land-based Atlantic salmon aquaculture in the US. Professor Zohar has published over 250 peer-reviewed scientific papers and book chapters and is the inventor of 10 issued international patents in aquaculture and biotechnology.



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