Name: World Aquaculture Conference (WA2023)
Destination: Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
Venues: Darwin Convention Centre
Pax:1,394 attendees

About the event

The World Aquaculture Conference (WA2023) staged at the Darwin Convention Centre in early June showcased the capacity, capability and invaluable proximity of Australia’s Northern Territory for an international business event.

The event combined the Annual International Conference & Exposition of World Aquaculture Society, Asian Pacific Aquaculture 2023 and the annual meeting of the Asian Pacific Chapter of the World Aquaculture Society. The World Aquaculture Society was founded in 1969 and now numbers more than 3,000 members.

WA2023 attracted 1394 attendees from more than 75 countries, with many coming from the Asia Pacific region. Delegates included global aquaculture sector experts, researchers, analysts, academics, government officials, policymakers and over eighty students.

The 2023 conference theme, “Supporting Strength in Aquaculture”, not only looked at the latest in technical developments but also brought into focus the wellbeing of people involved in aquaculture. 

Why Darwin and Australia’s Northern Territory (NT)?

Darwin and the NT were considered ideal for WA2023, due to the region’s close proximity to not only an expanding and vibrant Australian industry but also Asia, which represents nearly 89% of the world’s aquaculture production. Attracting the conference to Darwin was a joint bid partnership between Northern Territory Business Events, the official convention bureau for the Northern Territory and Darwin Convention Centre. The bid was also supported by Tourism Australia through its Business Events Bid Fund Program. 

What happened at WA2023?

The WA2023 program comprised plenary and multiple break-out sessions, workshops, a debate and a trade show. The Darwin Convention Centre’s Auditorium, Waterfront Rooms and Meeting Rooms accommodated the multi-stream gatherings whilst the Centre’s Exhibition Halls housed more than 80 trade show exhibitors, showcasing latest aquaculture technologies from around the world. 

Sessions addressed topical issues such as global sustainability, diversity and inclusivity in the aquaculture industry, regenerative aquaculture, aquafeed development, protecting the health and biosecurity of aquatic animals and Indigenous aquaculture. 

Activities on and off-site:

Off-site technical tours enabled delegates to visit NT aquaculture research and development operations such as the Darwin Aquaculture Centre and Barramundi Adventures Darwin. The Opening Ceremony and Welcome was held on the Convention Centre’s alfresco Frangipani Plaza whilst The President’s Reception was staged on the Centre’s Porte-Cochere. 

In their words

Organisers advised that the Darwin Convention Centre provided the perfect venue due to its close proximity to hotels, restaurants, bars and alfresco cafes, many within walking distance.

Very positive feed-back was received from attendees, many who took extra time to experience Darwin and iconic NT locations such as UNESCO World-Heritage listed Kakadu National Park, Litchfield National Park and spectacular Nitmiluk Gorge.

“I had the privilege of attending World Aquaculture 2023 in Darwin, Australia. The conference brought together experts and enthusiasts from around the world, fostering knowledge exchange and collaboration in aquaculture. Darwin, with its stunning natural beauty and unique wildlife and warm hospitality, provided the perfect backdrop for this event. My delegate experience was exceptional, with insightful sessions, engaging discussions, and networking opportunities that were truly enriching.”
Melody Sandra Vanukon (Marine Scientist MSc.)
Intern, Research and Aquaculture
Vanuatu Fisheries Department

Exhibitors at the WA2023 Conference trade show

The WA2023 Conference trade show attracted 80 exhibitors

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