The following letter was sent to IntraFish by David P. Kelly, CEO of Innovasea, in response to the column " Why are these people representing the aquaculture industry," written by Executive Editor John Fiorillo.
Good article in today’s IntraFish on the aquaculture panel at South by Southwest. With the exception of David E. Kelley (no relation), I concur with your views on the panelists.
David E. Kelley is a good choice because he has the name cachet to bring attention to the panel and actually is backing a sizeable US aquaculture operation that represents a long established part of the finfish aquaculture industry in the US – trout and salmon.
One observation: Referring to the organizers of SXSW as “tattooed hipsters” does not help our cause. While Austin is the most liberal city in Texas by a long shot, the event started in 1987, which easily predates the renaissance in tattooing and hipsters. We’re not going to change perceptions by taking potshots.
The core point of your article is far-reaching, however. If we want to change perceptions of aquaculture in North America, we shouldn’t be relying on Norwegians to make the case for it. We need a concerted industry effort to get representative speakers.