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A Night to Remember: Jessa's Aquaculture UK Adventures

Updated: Jul 1

At YAS, we love making waves and creating unforgettable experiences for young professionals in the aquaculture industry! After our official launch, we were thrilled to invite Jessa Garibay-Yayen to join the Aquascot table for an exciting Aquaculture UK awards dinner. Dive into Jessa's lively recap of the event and see how the YAS community is making a splash in the world of aquaculture!


by Jessa Garibay-Yayen

I am Jessa Garibay-Yayen, a postgraduate student at the University of Cambridge, concluding my Masters in Philosophy degree focusing on Seafood for Societal Health. My educational background includes studies in Marine Biology and Geography in Conservation Leadership. My current research is centred on understanding the drivers and barriers to the human consumption of underutilised seafood parts and species in the United Kingdom. This is part of my broader goal to celebrate the diverse range of seafood available in this region. Before returning to academia, I spent the past decade working in ridge-to-reef conservation in the Philippines. Through this academic and practical experience, I have come to recognise the importance of thinking deeper into our food systems, particularly seafood, one of the largest traded commodities worldwide.

This year was my first time at Aquaculture UK, the country's largest meeting place for aquaculture professionals, and it did not disappoint. The eight-hour train ride from Cambridge to Aviemore was well worth it! I was curious to meet and learn from the key players in the industry since how we produce, process, consume, and manage seafood plays a significant role in our planet. I also supported Naked Clams, an innovation in growing these species that converts wood into highly nutritious protein with high levels of Vitamin B12. Additionally, I was part of the Young Aquaculture Society (YAS), meeting fellow young wave-makers in the sector. I was excited to see the positive reception from the visitors and exhibitors about the group and how interested and excited they were to know more about us members.

The conference concluded with a gala dinner to celebrate the many successes in the field. I was honoured to have been invited by Aquascot to join their celebration of a successful exhibit and to recognise past and present colleagues. Their support of people like me from the YAS community is a big nod toward the group's goal of creating opportunities and connections for young professionals in the field. The connection between YAS and Aquascot is one of many that empowers and encourages many to join this field. Events like this are great for professional relations and allow us to connect and learn from those who have been working in the field. One of my highlights was learning from the Aquascot team members about what brought them to their work and day-to-day routines. I learned so much and felt connected to the enthusiasm of their personal stories in delivering excellent and nutritious seafood to our plates. They were also genuinely curious about my hometown in the Philippines as we exchanged notes on how we like our seafood and the flavour profiles of our favourites. It's not often that we are given the opportunity to do so; it was a special memory for me!

A special shoutout to Andrew Davies from Aquascot for his generous invite to join the Aquascot table, and to the executive committee of the Young Aquaculture Society for offering me this opportunity.

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