Aquaculture shows 'will go on despite coronavirus'
The owners of fish farming exhibitions due to take place in Norway and Scotland in May have no plans to cancel the events because of the coronavirus outbreak, each has said.
The inaugural HavExpo trade fair is scheduled to be held at Sotra Arena, just outside Bergen, on May 6 and 7, and Aquaculture UK is due to take place in Aviemore on May 19-21.
Vidar Onarheim, general manager for HavExpo organiser Aqkva, said the company had not yet received any cancellations as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, and that registrations had exceeded expectations.
‘We expect to be sold out’
“We expect to be sold out within 1-2 weeks from now,” he said.
“We are, of course, following the coronavirus situation closely, but hope and believe that the ‘worst’ commotion will have occurred by May.
“We have also been in dialogue with the municipality and are planning on the basis that the event goes according to plan.”
He said measures would be taken to promote good hygiene and that hand-washing facilities would be in place.
Asked if he would consider cancelling if the coronavirus escalates, he said: “We will evaluate this continuously, but so far the assessment is that we will carry out as planned.”
Meanwhile, the organisers of Aquaculture UK – recently bought from aquaculture health, genetics and nutrition firm Benchmark by Diversified Communications UK - have followed medical advice that there is currently no need to cancel events because of the virus, also known as Covid-19.
An update on the Aquaculture UK website states: “Aquaculture UK is monitoring the current coronavirus situation. The clear advice from the UK Government and Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, is for people not to panic and for large gatherings to continue as normal, and that the risk to individuals is low.
“Similarly, the UK’s Chief Medical Officer said that there is ‘no clear rationale’ for closing events in order to prevent the spread of the Covid-19.
Following all precautions
“The health and safety of all our exhibitors and visitors is our primary concern and priority and we are following all precautions recommended by the NHS.
“In addition, we are tracking the information from WHO (World Health Organization) and the international trade show community through the Association of Exhibition Organisers and UFI (the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry).
“Please be reassured that while we are remaining abreast with updates for guidance from the government and authorities, it is entirely business as usual for the Exhibition in May and we have no plans to postpone.”
The biennial Aquaculture UK, which incorporates the Aquaculture Awards, has from strength to strength in recent years and the 2020 edition has been increased in duration from two days to three.