Report from the latest meeting in Oulu, Finland on 7 – 8 February 2017
The Finnish EAFP branch meets every year. This year the meeting of the Finnish branch for EAFP was held in the city of Oulu in Northern Finland hosted by the local researchers. As invited speakers in the meeting were Dr. Riikka Holopainen from the Finnish Food Safety Authority talking about the use of the whole genome sequencing in fish pathogen detection and Dr. Jaakko Lumme from the University of Oulu updating the current knowledge in Gyrodactylus taxonomy. As always, the rest of the meeting program was filled with short communications by the members, including updates on crayfish plaque diagnostics, neglected liver worms, CRISPR immunity of Flavobacterium columnare, mysterious river dwelling salmon demise and plans for IPN-research. The two-day meeting included a joint dinner in a local restaurant serving traditional food, with a further possibility for informal information exchange.
Although the number of the members in our small country is not sky-high, the activity of the local branch is exemplary. The yearly meetings have been going on since 1992, varying between the major cities with active members taking care of meeting organization each in their turn. In 2012, due to organizing the International EAFP meeting in Tampere 2013, the Finnish EAFP branch was additionally organized as an association of the Fish Disease Researchers “Kalatautitutkijat”, although it is possible to choose between the membership of both or one of them. Almost all members of the branch joined the new association as well. The formal association allows the branch to operate financially without problems.
The Finnish EAFP branch officer and chair of the Finnish Fish Disease Researchers Satu Viljamaa-Dirks (end of table) is opening the yearly 2-day meeting of the Finnish EAFP branch and Finnish Fish Disease Researchers held in Oulu, Finland, February 7.-8. 2017, in the premises of the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira.
Happy faces after the meeting: Top row left: Lotta-Riina Sundberg, Hanna Ahonen, Jouni Taskinen, Anssi Karvonen, Riikka Holopainen, Perttu Koski. Front row left: Anna Maria Eriksson-Kallio, Katja Pulkkinen, Heidi Kunttu, Päivi Rintamäki, Satu Viljamaa-Dirks (the Finnish EAFP branch officer).
Katja Pulkkinen – Local secretary of the EAFP Finnish branch