A scene from Aquaculture UK 2018. This year's edition will now be held in September. Photo: Benchmark.

Aquaculture UK postponed until September

The UK’s largest fish farming event, Aquaculture UK, has been postponed from May until September 15-17 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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Organisers 5m Publishing and Diversified Communications UK issued a joint statement to exhibitors about the Aviemore event after the Scottish Government’s advice that gatherings should be restricted to fewer than 500 people.

“We have spoken to many of our exhibitors and supporters over the last couple of days, and based on the situation and the feedback, the precautionary decision has been taken to move Aquaculture UK 2020 to 15-17 September 2020,” organisers said.

Aquaculture Awards

The Aquaculture Awards, due to be presented during the event, have been moved to Wednesday, September 16.

Organisers said the postponement of Aquaculture UK had been “an incredibly difficult decision” but that it was the responsible step to take.

“The Scottish Government has advised that gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled from next week and the Chief Medical Officer is informing us that cases could peak within the next two to three months, which would coincide with the current show dates,” said the statement.

“As a result, it is impossible to continue to plan for the current dates, and we want you to give you as much time as possible to plan and prepare for the new dates before we get any closer to the event.”

HavExpo delayed

An aquaculture event in Bergen, Norway has also been postponed until the autumn because of coronavirus.

HavExpo 2020 was originally scheduled to take place on May 6 and 7 in Sotra Arena on the outskirts of the city.

“As we see it, it is unfortunately unlikely that the situation will have normalised by the beginning of May when the event was scheduled to take place, and we therefore consider it only reasonable to postpone the event until the autumn. We will announce with a new date, probably within two weeks,” said HaveExpo general manager Vidar Onarheim.

The world’s biggest seafood event, Seafood Expo Global in Brussels, was postponed last week. United States-based organiser Diversfied Communications said it would announce a new date by this Wednesday, March 18.

Diversified also postponed Seafood Expo North America, which was due to run from yesterday until tomorrow in Boston.

World Aquaculture 2020

Another casualty of the coronavirus is the World Aquaculture 2020 (WA2020) conference. It was due to take place in Singapore in June, and has been rescheduled to December 14-18.

The organisers said the risk of the virus plus travel restrictions and guidelines left them with no option other than to delay the event.

They said the event will continue as planned, other than the change of dates. All previous abstracts that have been submitted will continue to be processed by the programme committee and all registrations will continue to be valid. The abstract deadline will be changed to 1 July.