The World Aquaculture Society was founded in 1969 as the World Mariculture Society.  Since it’s beginning the membership in WAS has grown to more than 3,000 members in about 100 countries representing the global aquaculture community.  In order to meet the expanding international nature of the Society and to address specific needs in various areas of the world, the WAS has created Chapters in the United States, Japan, Korea, Latin American and Caribbean region and the Asian-Pacific region.  The WAS is associated with other aquaculture associations such as the Aquaculture Association of Canada, Aquaculture Association of South Africa, Aquaculture without Frontiers, Asian Fisheries Society, Brazilian Society of Aquaculture and Aquatic Biology, China Society of Fisheries, Egyptian Aquaculture Society, European Aquaculture Society, Indonesian Aquaculture Society, Korean Aquaculture Society, Malaysian Fisheries Society, Society of Aquaculture Professionals (India) and Spanish Society of Aquaculture.  Through its diverse membership and international networks, the WAS provides leadership for enhanced international communications, collaboration and information exchange.  The World Aquaculture Society is a dynamic organization capable of responding to change and is recognized for its professional credibility in aquaculture science, technology and education.

Aquaculture will have to play an increasingly important role in meeting the global demand for fisheries products as the world population continues to expand and fisheries stocks approach their biological limits.  Although world aquaculture production reached an all time high of 28.8 million metric tons valued at $45.4 billion (US$) in 1997, aquaculture production will have to expand at least two fold to meet world demand for fisheries products by the year 2025.  Aquaculture will also play an important role in economic and community development throughout the world as the world moves to a more global economy.  The progressive development and expansion of aquaculture will be dependent on the generation, dissemination, and adoption of knowledge and technology consistent with broad societal, national and international goals.  As aquaculture production expands to meet the global demand for fisheries products, it is essential that efficient and environmentally sustainable production systems be developed and utilized.

The World Aquaculture Society (WAS) is strategically positioned to play an important role in assuring the progressive development of aquaculture worldwide by meeting the increased global demand for science-based information and technology.  In order to meet the challenges of the future, WAS has a long-term vision and mission priorities with a renewed "Commitment to Excellence."

The World Aquaculture Society, through this commitment to excellence in science, technology, education, and information exchange, will endeavor to contribute to the progressive and sustainable development of aquaculture throughout the world.  The Annual Meetings of the World Aquaculture Society are recognized as thepremier aquaculture conferences and exhibitions bringing together a wide variety of aquaculturists from the commercial, academic and government sectors. 

In addition to the WAS Annual meeting, WAS organises or sponsors a range of other meetings to cover specific topics or needs.  These regional meetings provide an excellent opportunity for those who are unable to attend the Annual conference. 
The WAS also publishes the Journal of the World Aquaculture Society, a bi-monthly scientific journal which contains high quality, peer-reviewed, scientific papers covering the range of aquaculture topics and the World Aquaculture Magazine which provides a quarterly source of articles on aquaculture and news of interest to WAS members.

John Cooksey

John Cooksey