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Opinion: The future is now

In every industry one of the challenges for the future has always been developing and retaining the skills and talent that would propel the industry forward and ensure consistent growth. Aquaculture is no different.

June 21, 2019  By Mari-Len De Guzman

This relatively young industry boasts some of the smartest minds and most experienced professionals from across the globe, who have spent decades perfecting their craft and accumulating valuable knowledge that can only be beneficial to such a growing industry. As with other industries, we are faced with a huge generation of baby boomers that are getting ready for some well-deserved retirement – or semi-retirement.

A recent article from Investopedia estimates around 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day. About 21 percent of people employed in Canada are 55 years old or older. The population of adults in retirement age (those 65 years or older) will comprise nearly 30 percent of the population in the European Union by the year 2080. In Asia, the outlook is very similar. Almost 28 percent of Japan’s total population are made up of people over the age of 65. In China, the declining number of young adults and the aging population are causing labour shortages in certain industries.

The reality is that a huge chunk of great minds and skills will be leaving the industry in droves over the next 10 years. The hope is that they will have passed on their knowledge to their younger counterparts to continue the watch and help take the profession and the industry to the next level. Succession planning in every organization should be an essential part of the mentoring process for any young professional joining this industry.

As much as we celebrate the contributions of our veteran aquaculture professionals, we also want to applaud the young men and women in the industry who are truly making a difference. Those who help shape the future of the aquaculture industry. And we begin where every aquaculture operation begins: in the hatcheries.


Hatchery International is proud to launch our first-ever Top 10 Under 40 program, recognizing outstanding men and women under the age of 40 working in hatcheries across the globe. Whether you work at a commercial hatchery, a research institution with hatchery or fish culture operations, or at a not-for-profit helping to restore and conserve fish populations in our water systems, we would like you to nominate a colleague that you think deserves to be among the most promising young hatchery professionals in the industry.

We are looking for young professionals who: shows a deep understanding and knowledge of fish culture; demonstrates a strong work ethic; has the ability to lead and innovate; possesses a strong passion and commitment to sustainable and responsible production; and commits to the highest standards of hatchery practices.

It’s time to shine the spotlight on some of these deserving individuals who are making a difference in this profession. Online nominations are currently open and will end July 31st.

Just by getting nominated all these young professionals are already winners in their own right, but we have to choose the Top 10 among them. We will announce their identities and feature their stories in the November/December 2019 issue of Hatchery International.

To nominate a deserving young professional, visit www.hatcheryinternational.com/top-10-under-40.

Have you got a story tip or a hatchery operation with a great story to tell? Send me an email at mdeguzman@annexbusinessmedia.com.

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