International Council

International Council Members


Roy Palmer

Roy has been engaged in the seafood industry since 1972. He became involved in ‘industry issues’ in the early 1980’s when he was elected inaugural President of the Victorian Importers Association.

Since then he has engaged in many industry activities at various levels during which time he served as Deputy Chairman of Seafood Services Australia Ltd, and on the Boards of Seafood Training Australia and Victoria’s Fisheries Co-Management Council.

Roy is currently  involved in many seafood activities, mainly with global organisations, which he sees as being important in respect of food security/safety, alleviating hunger/poverty, increasing seafood consumption, certification, marketing and training/education. See LinkedIn.


Dave Conley

Dave Conley is Director, Corporate Communications at AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. Previously he was Senior Consultant and Founding Partner of the Aquaculture Communications Group (ACG). His career in aquaculture grew out of his interests and training in agriculture, renewable resources development, and parasitology. He has over 40 years of diverse practical experience in food and fibre production, research, journalism, public policy development, public education, and communications. From 1999 to 2004 Dave served as Communications and Policy Advisor to Canada’s first and only Commissioner for Aquaculture Development at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and was part of the team that produced two strategic policy documents for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans – Achieving the Vision, 2003, and Recommendations for Change, 2003. He holds an M.Sc. in Parasitology from the Institute of Parasitology, McGill University, and a B.Sc. (Agr.), Renewable Resources Development, from the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University. He also holds a Diploma in Agriculture, Farm Business Management, from Kemptville College, University of Guelph.


Albert Tacon

Albert Tacon

Dr Albert G.J. Tacon is Technical Director of Aquatic Farms Ltd in Hawaii, and works as an international aquaculture consultant, specializing in aquatic feeds and nutrition. After obtaining his PhD in fish nutrition at University College (University of Wales, UK – 1978) he spent eight years within the UK as a university lecturer and researcher in applied fish nutrition at the University of Aston in Birmingham and at the Institute of Aquaculture in Stirling. In 1984 he joined the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and worked for fourteen years as an aquaculture feed and nutrition expert. In 1999 he moved to Hawaii and served as Director and Program Manager of the Aquatic Feeds and Nutrition Program at the Oceanic Institute.

Since then Albert was has been working with Aquatic Farms Ltd (Hawaii) as an independent consultant in aquaculture and aquaculture nutrition and feed related activities. His expertise has taken him to working in over 44 countries, and has over 228 scientific publications and one patent. He currently serves as Scientific Advisor on Aquatic Resources to the International Foundation for Science, Stockholm, Sweden (since 1998), is Editor in Chief of Reviews in Aquaculture, and also serves on the editorial board of Aquaculture Nutrition and Aquaculture Research.

Katherine Hawes

Katherine Hawes

Katherine Hawes

Katherine Hawes is a lawyer, educator and speaker who is passionate about the Marine and Aquaculture Industries. Based in Sydney, Australia she is the founder of Aquarius Lawyers and Aquarius Education.

Katherine has over 20 years’ of legal and business experience and her expertise lies in advising and representing organisations and businesses on issues pertaining to the marine environment. She is also a regular speaker at large international events covering topics such as aquaculture, marine and fisheries law, maritime security and marine resources management. Katherine is a Director of the World Aquaculture Society (WAS) Asian Pacific Chapter (APC).

Katherine holds a Masters of Law from the University of Sydney, Masters of Maritime Law, a Bachelor of Law and a BA in Communication. She is currently completing her Masters Adult Education.

Meryl J Williams

Meryl Williams

Meryl Williams

Dr Meryl Williams has worked for nearly 40 years in Australian and international fisheries, aquaculture, aquatic resource conservation and agricultural research and development. Presently, she is engaged mainly in non-executive leadership positions involved with women and gender in aquaculture and fisheries, and information and science for sustainable fish production.

Among previous appointments, she was the Chair of the Commission of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, vice-chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), member of the following: Scientific Steering Committee of the Census of Marine Life, Pew Marine Fellows Advisory Committee, founding Board of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Australian Maritime College Council, and Chair of the Australian Ballast Water Management Advisory Council. In recent years, she has led a number of international evaluation teams including: evaluating the World Bank fishery program, and FAO’s support for the implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.

She was formerly Director General of the WorldFish Center (1994-2004), during which time she concentrated the focus of the WorldFish on eradicating poverty, improving people’s nutrition, and reducing pressure on the environment. She was previously the Director of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Executive Director of the Bureau of Rural Sciences, tuna fisheries statistician at the Secretariat for the Pacific Community and fisheries biologist in the Queensland state government service.

She was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Science, Technology and Engineering in 1993 and awarded an Australian Centenary Medal in 2003. Educated at the University of Queensland and James Cook University, in 2010, she was named an ‘Outstanding Alumnus’ of James Cook University, Australia. In 2004, the Asian Fisheries Society elected her as an Honorary Life Member. With the Asian Fisheries Society, she initiated the long running series of women/gender in fisheries and aquaculture global symposia and maintains, a key global website. She is also currently leading the Asian Fisheries Society project to develop an online information system for Asia-Pacific fisheries and aquaculture, called AsiaPacific-FishWatch.

Antonio Garza de Yta

Antonio Garza de Yta

Antonio Garza de Yta

Dr Antonio Garza de Yta.  Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Campus Monterrey (1997). MSc (2001) and PhD in Aquaculture (2009) from Auburn University. Former Director General for Planning, Programming and Evaluation of the National Commission for Aquaculture and Fisheries in Mexico (CONAPESCA). Immediate Past President of the Latin-American and Caribbean Chapter of the World Aquaculture Society (LACC-WAS). Director of the International Association of Astacology (IAA). Director of the World Aquaculture Society.

During the last couple of decades Dr Garza worked hands-on with farmers and was actively involved in turnkey projects and training in aquaculture in Mexico and Latin America. He has given lectures on Crustacean Aquaculture, Water Quality Management and Aquaculture Development and performed training around the world. Dr Garza has worked as a private consultant for aquaculture projects in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Chile, Argentina, Ghana, Lebanon, and Australia. He has been involved in several diagnoses and strategic planning programs and has cooperated actively with the FAO since 2007. As well, he has participated as speaker in most of the important events of aquaculture worldwide (WAS, IAA, FAO among others). Dr Garza has published and served as reviewer of articles in scientific journals and magazines in the Americas and Asia and recently published a book chapter on Crayfish Aquaculture.

In the recent years Dr Garza, in collaboration with Auburn University’s Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures, developed the Certification for Aquaculture Professionals (CAP) Program. He actively promoted the Certification in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia. He firmly believes that education and professionalization of aquaculture are the key components most needed worldwide to develop individual and commercial enterprise. His vision for AwF (Latin America) is to create an NGO which drives capability and capacity in Aquaculture right across Latin America.

Citlali Gomez Lepe

Citlali Gomez Lepe

Citlali Gomez Lepe

Citlali is a Biologist working since 1998 in responsible and sustainable aquaculture. She is CEO and founding member of Neminatura, a family business dedicated to the growth and commercialization of rainbow trout and bull frogs, which takes care to conserve the natural resources (forests and spring water) of the places where the farms are located.

As Vice president of COMEPESCA (Mexican Council for the Promotion of Seafood and Aquaculture Consumption) Citlali leads the work of this Council to promote the consumption and sourcing of sustainable and responsible seafood and aquaculture. She has the certification for Professionals in Aquaculture from CAP.

Citlali is founder and president of The Alliance for the Conservation of Forests and Water (ONG) which is working in the center of the country with rural communities in productive projects in order to develop a sustainable platform for them.