Report about the XV bi-annual German speaking EAFP branches meeting in Starnberg, Bavaria, Germany
Under the title “Fish health and fisheries through the ages” the XV bi-annual joint meeting of the German, Austrian and Swiss sections of the European Association of Fish Pathologists (EAFP) was held from 8 to 11 October 2014 in Starnberg, Bavaria, Germany. In this year`s conference there was a record participation of 142 delegates from six countries. The welcome address was spoken by Jakob Opperer, president of the Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture (LfL). The event was organized by Dirk Willem Kleingeld (Lower Saxony State Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety – LAVES), EAFP Branch Official Germany with the support of Helmut Wedekind, director of the Starnberg Institute for Fisheries (IFI) of the LFL, and his assistant Susanna Schumann.
The scientific program included 42 oral presentations and 27 poster presentations. There was a particularly broad spectrum of scientific contributions this year. The scientific program started with introducing talks concerning fisheries in Bavaria, the competitiveness of German and EU aquaculture, the development of fish yields and future challenges due to the introduction of new aquaculture species. However scientific and practical contributions related to fish diseases, fish epizootics and residues in fish and water of course had the largest share within the scientific program. New challenges in the field of animal welfare, diagnostics and concerns of curative practice in wild, farmed and ornamental fish were presented. During coffee and lunch breaks subsequent discussions were continued. The conference was attended by a broad range of delegates representing research, industry, government, fishery associations and practical vets.
One of the conference highlights was the granting of the “Wilhelm-Schäperclaus-Award”, given to young scientists for outstanding scientific achievements. Winner this year is Hannah Wünnemann, veterinarian at the Clinic for Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish of the Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen. About 30% of the conference participants voted for her. Within the scientific program she presented a talk about the project “Identification of infectious diseases and its relevance for the conservation of allis shads within the EU-LIFE+ -project “Alosa alosa””. Due to the good response the German EAFP-branch has decided to grant two awards for the best oral respectively poster presentation in the future.
On Friday the meeting was preceded by a visit to the Institute for Fisheries in Starnberg. On the next day an excursion took place including a boat tour on the Lake Starnberg, a fisherman`s visit and a trip to the research facilities of the Bavarian State Office for Environment in Wielenbach.
The success of the conference was characterized not only by the supply of various presentations at a high level of competence, but also by the continuous objective and respectful discussions in the course of the meeting.
Conference proceedings including English abstracts will be published next year.
Dirk Willem Kleingeld (EAFP BO Germany)
Images from this conference are also available on the EAFP-Facebook page! Please click here.