​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ICES Aquacultur​e Dialogue meeting will feature the following speakers:​​​


Elisabeth Aspaker, Norwegian Minister​ of Fisheries

Elisabeth Aspaker is a Norwegian politician for the Conservative Party and has been Minister of Fisheries since 16 October 2013, as well as M​inister for the coordination of Nordic affairs.​ The Norwegian Fisheries Minister is responsible for fisheries and aquaculture management, seafood safety, fish health and welfare, framework conditions for the seafood trade and market access for Norwegian seafood.​






​​Anne Christine Brusendorff,  General Secretary of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea​

Anne Christine Brusendorff is the General Secretary of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). ICES is an intergovernmental org​​​anization whose main objective is to increase the scientific knowledge of the marine environment and its living resources and to use this knowledge to provide advice to competent authorities. Brusendorff leads the secretariat and is facilitating the implementation of the ICES Strategic Plan (2014–2018) that focuses on developing the science to support integrated ecosystem understanding.

Before joining ICES in 2012, Brusendorff spent 14 years working for the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM). Most recently leading that organization as Executive Secretary, but has also served as HELCOM Deputy Executive Secretary, and HELCOM Professional Secretary (maritime matters)

Brusendorff studied Maritime and Environmental law at the University of Copenhagen and London School of Economics and Political Science, before completing her Ph.D. (International Law of the Sea and International Environmental Law) at the University of Copenhagen.



Paul Connolly, ICES President 

Paul Connolly is  Director of Fisheries Ecosystems Advisory Services (FEAS) at the Marine Institute in Galway, Ireland. This broad and diverse group deals with fisheries data collection and management, stock assessment and advice, management plans, and stakeholder interactions. FEAS has a strong research component that is focused on the application of the ecosystem approach with strong links to Irish universities.

Connolly completed his PhD in fisheries ecology at University College Dublin in 1986 and joined the Marine Institute in 1999, beginning his long association with ICES. He worked on several stock assessment expert groups and co-chaired theme sessions at various ICES Annual Science Conferences. He was co-convener of the ICES Symposium on Fisheries Management Strategies in 2006.

In 1999, Connolly was appointed Director of FEAS and became Ireland's delegate to ICES. In 2003, he was elected Vice President of ICES and served on its Board until 2005. In 2005, ICES appointed Connolly as chair of a committee that conducted a  reform of ICES and the way it delivers scientific advice on the oceans. 

During 2011 and 2012, Connolly worked closely with the Irish Government's Marine Coordination Group (MCG) that developed an Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland (www.ouroceanwealth.ie), which was launched by the Irish Prime Minister in July 2012. 

Connolly was elected ICES President in 2012 for a three-year term.


Peter Cranford, Co-Chair of ICES Working Group on Aquaculture​

Peter Cranford is an oceanographer and marine ecologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. He has 34 years of experience working at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography conducting applied research and delivering advice on human interactions with marine ecosystems. His research activities over the past 18 years, in Canada and the EU, have focused on improving our understanding of the environmental dependence and effects of shellfish and finfish aquaculture. As a government scientist, his work is conducted to provide practical knowledge and expertise that can be used to support decisions by the Canadian government on effective management strategies for promoting the sustainability of the aquaculture industry.  Dr. Cranford previously chaired the ICES Working Group on Marine Shellfish Culture (2005-2008). He is currently an Adjunct Professor with the Department of Oceanography at Dalhousie University and a Contributing Editor of Aquaculture Environment Interactions.






Johan Dahl, Minister of Trade and Industry of the Faroe Islands

 Johan Dahl has served as Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Foodstuffs and Forestry in the Nordic Council of Ministers since 2008. He also represents the Faroe Islands on the Nordic Council of Ministers  as Minister for Business, Energy & Regional Policy, as well as Minister for Labour and Minister in the Council of Ministers for Gender Equality.






Jon Arne Grøttum, Director of the Norwegian Seafood Federation (FLH)

Grøttum​ is the Director of the Norwegian Seafood Federation (FLH) which represents the interests of approximately 500 member companies and 8000 employees. FHL covers the entire value chain from fjord to dinner table in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in Norway. Grøttum trained as  ecophysiologist working mainly on salmon oxygen consumption. He worked for SINTEF, before going back to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Since 1998, he has been working for FHL, first as a project leader, then as Director of Aquaculture for the Mid-Norway region and as Director of Aquaculture since 2014





Cornelius Hammer, Vice President of the Thünen Research Centre​


Cornelius Hammer has been with ICES since the late 1980s. He is a fisheries biologist and has been member of a number of ICES Working Groups on pelagic fish and other topics. He has been a member of the ICES Council since 2004 and is at present First Vice President of ICES. In Germany, his home country, he is now Vice President of the Thünen Research Centre after having served 12 years as director of the Thünen-Institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries in Rostock. 





Dr. Piers Hart, World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

Dr. Hart has  more than 30 years experience in aquaculture working in a variety of positions in government, research, lecturing, consultancy, the commercial sector, and eNGO sector in both Australia and the United Kingdom. ​He has a BSc in Fishery Science and a PhD in flatfish larval rearing from the University of Tasmania and has been involved in salmonid, marine fish, abalone and rock lobster farming, recirculation systems, development of aquaculture teaching courses and certification of sustainable and organic aquaculture. He has published numerous papers on a diverse range of aquaculture issues and research.

Dr. Hart has been working for WWF for the past six years and is currently the Global Lead for WWF's work on Market Transformation of Aquaculture. ​




 Dr. Pauline Kamermans,  Co-Chair of ICES Working Group on Aquaculture  

Dr. Kamermans has 28 years' experience in marine ecological and aquaculture research of which 21 years have been devoted to shellfish. She chaired the ICES Working Group on Marine Shellfish Culture (2009-2012) and since 2013 she is the shellfish and algae chair of the ICES Working Group on Aquaculture. Kamermans has been working for IMARES (Institute of Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies), a non-profit privatised research organisation that is part of Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR), since 2000. The institute specialises in strategic and applied marine ecological research with a focus on Marine Living Resource Management. Experts work on (inter)national projects for the public and private sector. One of its locations is in Yerseke where 95% of the Dutch shellfish industry is based, including ships, processing plants, distribution centres and a special auction especially for bivalves. Kamermans carried out a number of national and international projects on the enhancement of seed supply for shellfish farmers and on land-based production of shellfish. This involved research on spat fall prediction, seed collection methods, the development of hatchery and nursery techniques for mussels and oysters, experiments on ecophysiological needs of shellfish at differe​​nt life stages under controlled conditions and assessment of the ecological effects of shellfish farming. She participated in five EU projects (researcher and assistant coordinator in EUMAC EV5V-CT93-0290, researcher and assistant coordinator in GROFLO ERBIC18CT960065, researcher and coordinator in BLUE SEED COOP-017729, researcher and WP leader in OYSTERECOVER FP7-SME-2008-2-243583  and in REPROSEED FP7-KBBE-2009-3-245119).  Kamermans published 30 peer-reviewed articles and 2 book chapters (H-index 15) and is Associate-Editor of Aquatic Living Resources.


Dr. Gesche Krause​, Chair of ICES Working Group on Social & Economic Dimensions of Aquaculture​

Dr. Gesche Krause is a coastal geographer and social scientist, who completed her PhD at the Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University, Sweden, on Natural Resource Management.

Holding a European Scholarship, she worked at the Hydraulic Research Ltd. Wallingford (U.K.) before working at the Coastal Resources Centre (CRC) at the University of Rhode Island (USA). Onwards she worked as consultant at BioConsult, Bremen (Germany) and conducted an environmental impact assessment for the Europipe II (STATOIL). For 14 years she led the geographical science research at the Center for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) in Bremen (Germany), in which she was mainly working in the 10-year research programme on Brazilian Mangrove Dynamics and Management, as well as on ornamental trade dynamics and coastal governance issues in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. The scoio-economic prospects of aquaculture, especially in combination with offshore renewable energy systems, have been a further research avenue since 2000. In 2011 she started to work as an offshore wind farm project developer for the private business company PNE WIND Group in Cuxhaven. In 2013 she affiliated with the Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and is responsible for the development and coordination of an Earth System Knowledge Platform, focusing on research into stakeholder dialogues on various institutional levels.

On behalf of the EU she has carried out an evaluation of all EU ICZM National Strategies in 2006 and was co-founder of the ZMT Social-Ecological Systems (SES) Analysis research group and founder and current chair of the ICES study group on social and economic dimensions of aquaculture (WGSEDA). She is part of the management steering group of the recently launched COST Action Ocean Past Platform (OPP) in which she chairs the working group on aquaculture. 


Matjaz Malgaj, Head of Unit for the Marine Environment and Water Industries, European Commission
Matjaz Malgaj ha been Head of Unit for the Marine Environment and Water Industries at the European Commission since November 2014.

Between 2013 and 2014 he was Head of Cabinet of the Commissioner for Environment and before that deputy manager for strategy. He steered setting EU's environmental priorities for period until 2020. This included the seventh environment action plan, resource efficeny and circular economy initiatives and the work on Sustainable Development Goals. 

Between 2004 and 2010 he worked for Commissioner for Science and Research, with particular focus on the European Research Council, marine and maritime research and energy and climate change. Between 1999 and 2004 he worked for the Government of Slovenia on their accession to the EU and the EEA.

Malgaj has a degree in law. He studied at the Central European University in Budapest (HU), UC Berkeley (US), the University of Amsterdam (NL) and the University of Ljubljana (SI).​


Kjell Maroni, Norwegian Seafood Research Fund (FHF)​


Kjell Maroni is the R&D Director of Aquaculture for the "Norwegian Seafood Fund" with the aim of industry-based research and development for a sustainable and profitable seafood industry and growth. As such the Norwegian Seafood Fund" is run by the industry and financed by the industry. 





Tore Nepstad,  Institute of Marine Research​, Norway


Tore Nepstad was Director (CEO/COO) of the Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, before becoming Director of the Institute of Marine Research, in 2004. However, his professional origins are in the Royal Norwegian Navy, where he has been an officer and Sea captain. Nepstad is also Vice president of NUTEC A/S.





Dr. Michael Rust, Science Coordinator for the AquacultureOffice, NOAA, USA ​

Dr. Michael Rust is the Science Coordinator for the Aquaculture Office of NOAA. In this role, Mike works with NOAA labs and science centres to implement a coordinated aquaculture research strategy across NOAA and in concert with other federal agencies.  Mike comes to the program from NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center where his research focused on multiple areas of marine aquaculture.  He served as the Program Manager for the Aquaculture Research at the Center, the mission of which is to provide the scientific information and technology needed to create viable, environmentally sustainable marine aquaculture industries and to protect and restore wild fisheries. Dr. Rust has fisheries and aquaculture experience both domestically and internationally, in countries including the Philippines, Haiti, Norway, and Canada. He has degrees from the University of Colorado (environmental biology -- B.S.), University of California, Davis (animal science -- M.S. and international agricultural development -- M.S.) and the University of Washington (fisheries -- Ph.D).​




Dr. Martin Scholten, IMARES Wageningen University and Research Centre 


Dr. Martin.C.Th. Scholten is a biologist, member of the board of directors of Wageningen University and Research Centre (Wageningen UR) since 2008, responsible for the Animal and Marine Sciences. In 2002-2014 he was director of the marine institute IMARES. He served ICES as Netherlands delegate in 2006-2013; and was EFARO president in 2005-2009.

He is (amongst others tasks) chairman of EFARO's Aquaculture Task Force; president of the European livestock innovation platform Animal Task Force (ATF);  co-chairman of the of the Global Research Alliance (GRA) on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases ; and council member of the EAAP, the European Federation of Animal Sciences.

As an ecologist now active in the field of livestock and seafood production, he introduced the principles of "Feeding the world within the capacity of planet earth"; "Seafood security" and "Livestock Farming with Care".



Einar Wathne, EWOS International​

Einar Wathne is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the EWOS group "Feed". EWOS, a Norwegian company, is one of the world-leading suppliers of feed and nutrition for the international aquaculture industry. Wathne has a long career in EWOS. In 1986 he started as fish feed consultant in Norsk Landbrukskjemi, today a part of EWOS Norway, and he has been researcher in EWOS Innovation, acting in EWOS Scotland and EWOS Norway, and since 2006 he has been deputy-COO Feed.

Einar stated recently: "I have spent my entire adult work life in the salmon industry and I am motivated and proud to contribute to the further development of the most resource friendly and healthy food production there is."​




 What are the key issues facing the development of sustainable aquaculture? 

A panel discussion will feature the following speakers:

 Anne Mette Bæk Jespersen, EUfishmeal

Anne Mette Bæk Jespersen has since 2013 been the managing director of Marine Ingredients Denmark, representing the Danish fishmeal and fish oil industry. In addition to this she is the head of secretariat of EUfishmeal, representing European producers of fishmeal and fish oil. She is a member of the board of directors of IFFO, the global marine ingredients organization.   

Anne Mette has a degree in political science and has previously worked in the Confederation of Danish Industries and the Danish Agricultural Council. She has also been employed in the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, where she for 5 years was responsible for fisheries negotiations. From 2003 -2006 she worked as a diplomat at the Danish Mission in Geneva, covering free trade negotiations in the World Trade Organization.  






Ann Dom, Seas at Risk

Ann Dom is Deputy Director of Seas At Risk, the European association of environmental NGOs working to protect the marine environment of the European seas and the wider North East Atlantic. Seas At Risk has currently 26 member organisations in 15 countries. Ann has a long standing expertise on EU environmental policy and its integration into sector policies. At Seas At Risk, her work focuses on the EU's Marine Strategy, Integrated Maritime Policy and Blue Growth strategy, with a special focus on aquaculture and deepsea mining. Before joining Seas At Risk in 2012 Ann was employed at the European Environment Agency and the Environment Directorate General of the European Commission. She also worked as a consultant and researcher and taught at the Free University of Brussels. Ann holds Master's degrees in Physics and in Environmental Assessment.






Davide Fezzardi, General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM)

Davide Fezzardi, a fishery biologist specialized in aquaculture and coastal zone management, progressed from technical work and research in Italy to implementing projects to support livelihoods through aquaculture in South East Asia where he worked for over 13 years. Amongst other things, Davide has dealt with small-scale fish and shrimp aquaculture, participatory approaches for aquaculture planning, micro-credit for fisheries communities, coastal lagoons management, community participation and co-management. His career spans research and training institutes as well as bilateral donors and multilateral financial institutions. Areas of interest include aquaculture development and sustainability, resources management, aquaculture certification, project management. He currently works as aquaculture specialist with the GFCM.





 Dr. Synnøve Helland​, European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform (EATIP​)

Dr. Synnøve Helland has extensive experience both as a scientist and research manager, having more than 20 years of experience in aquaculture research. She has been leader of the Marine Department at the Nofima Research Station at Sunndalsøra, and has assisted the Director of Research, Department of Nutrition, and has been the special advisor to the Director of Infrastructure in Nofima. SH has positive experiences in the close cooperation between industry and researchers, nationally and internationally, and her main goal is to contribute in the continuous process of improving fish nutrition and production in intensive aquaculture systems in a sustainable manner.

Since the establishment of the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform (EATIP) Helland has been an active member, and was involved in developing the strategic research agenda under the thematic Area "Managing the Biological Life Cycle". Helland currently serves on the Board of Directors and is the treasurer of EATIP.





Eskild Kirkegaard, Chair of ICES Advisory Committee (ACOM)

Eskild Kirkegaard has more than 30 years of experience in fisheries research and management. He has worked as Research Director at the Danish Institute for Fisheries Research, Fisheries Manager at the European Commission (DG FISH), and Vice-Director at the National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark. He has throughout his career been actively involved in ICES advisory work and has held the position of ACOM Chair since 2014. ​





Jan Vennema​n, European Forum for Farm Animal Breeders (EFFAB)

 Jan Venneman became the director of the European Forum for Farm Animal Breeders (EFFAB) last year. EFFAB is involved in EU breeding policy, EU breeding regulations, EU research funding, and patent watch. EFFAB participates in several EU research projects and developed and introduced a code of good breeding practice (Code EFABAR).​​ Venneman also runs his own consultancy and interim management company in the Netherlands which he founded in July 2014.