After nearly two years of peering at each other on screen, the aquaculture industry is cautiously returning to in-person events. Last month the European Aquaculture Society held its annual conference, Aquaculture Europe (AE2021), on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

The pandemic has not gone away, but as reported in this issue of Fish Farmer, AE2021 shows that it is possible to run large-scale events safely. The conference brought together aquaculture professionals and academics from across Europe and beyond, and provided networking opportunities for seasoned professionals and aspiring students alike.

Click here to read the November issue online.

Meanwhile, in the UK we are also seeing face-to-face events returning. In parallel with the COP26 conference, which brought world leaders, campaigners and climate experts to Glasgow this month, Salmon Scotland also addressed sustainability issues with a panel discussion in the city on how to make packaging for the industry more environmentally friendly (see page 10).

The panel event, on 3 November, was followed that day by a reception hosted by Salmon Scotland, which included an address by Mairi Gougeon, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs in the Scottish Government, in which she praised the “hugely significant contribution” that fish farming is making to the Scottish economy.

The last few weeks have seen the appointment of new fisheries ministers: in Norway, Bjørnar Skjæran, part of the incoming Labour-led administration; and in Canada, Joyce Murray, who is tipped to take a rather more sceptical view of fish farming.

As reported in our feature articles on Containment and Predator Protection, and the Salmon Interactions Working Group, the industry is more than ever having to make its case in the face of criticism from different quarters.

Meanwhile, fish health is also a theme for the November issue, with a feature on the topic and a report from the Gill Health Conference.

Hamish Macdonell writes about the thinking behind the rebranding of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation as Salmon Scotland, and Nicki Holmyard reports on two innovative projects in the shellfish sector.

I hope you enjoy reading this month’s magazine and that you find some food for thought.

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