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This Special Issue of The Journal of the World Aquaculture Society is comprised of data presented at the biannual event of AQUABIO – the Brazilian Society of Aquaculture and Aquatic Biology, which was held in Palmas, Brazil, from July 1 to 5, 2012. Since its inception in 2004, AQUACIÊNCIA continues to provide the opportunity for communication among researchers throughout Brazil, South America, and the World. New knowledge in aquaculture research plays an important role in the development of the activity in Brazil as well as allows for production of safe and healthy food for human consumption. The widespread interest in the field of aquaculture was marked by the enthusiasm of nearly 1000 participants.

Brazil has the natural resources to develop a strong national aquaculture industry. It holds 12% of the world's freshwater and a coastline of approximately 8300 km, besides an enormous freshwater biodiversity of more than 2000 fish species and 5 million ha of surface water in reservoirs. In addition, the Brazilian feed industry is the largest in Latin America and the third at a global level, just below the USA and China. Likewise, Brazil is an important producer and exporter of beef and poultry. Despite the abundance of natural resources and a well-established animal production industry, aquaculture is still underdeveloped. Official records indicated a total production of around 630,000 m.t. in 2011, which represents an increase of 31% when compared with 2010 production. In recent years, government policies have significantly increased the support for aquaculture development and according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Brazil could become a leading global aquaculture producer by 2030 if there are concerted research efforts to advance the industry.

The scientific program of the symposium encompassed five international invited lecturers and eight short-courses followed by oral and poster contributions. There were 19 sessions that ranged from freshwater fish to marine mollusks and from aquatic animal nutrition to the preparation of scientific papers. This special issue results from an effort of the current AQUABIO board to strengthen scientific writing capabilities of Brazilian researchers as well as to strengthen ties between the World Aquaculture Society (WAS) and AQUABIO.

While manuscripts focused on Brazilian native fish species, the information published in this issue will be invaluable to researchers globally as they investigate problems important to aquaculture industries in their country and/or region. Papers published in this issue describe methods for optimizing sperm quality, larvae skeletal deformities, dietary protein requirements, growth enhancers, nitrite poisoning, stunning methods for fish processing, and disease control and water reuse in exotic crustacean species.

Our special thanks to the invited editorial committee and to all anonymous reviewers for the assistance in reviewing the papers for this proceeding. Thanks are also due to the WAS for the opportunity to publish this special issue. We hope the articles presented here will contribute toward the advancement of our knowledge in the fascinating field of aquaculture.