Bringing together individuals and organisations from across the industry to take a refreshing and exciting look at the issues to be addressed in the further development of the UK aquaculture industry. Sessions will be delivered by a mix of Aquaculture experts, vets, scientists plus respected key players from industry.
Following graduation from Plymouth I was employed as Fisheries and Water Recreation Manager. The role involved management of freshwater and estuarine waterbodies and commercial fisheries within the Lee Valley and Thames Estuary.
I was then fortunate enough to be employed as Course Manager within the Fisheries Dept at Sparsholt College, Hampshire, where I specialised in Environmental and Fisheries Management together with the biology and culture of aquatic species. In 2008 I was employed as Course Manager at Falmouth Marine School, where I specialise in the biology and culture of aquatic organisms. I continue to be closely involved within the aquaculture, fisheries and environmental management industries and continue to be fortunate enough to be invited to contribute to a range of publications, broadcasts, seminars and contracts within these industries.
Heather Jones MA, MBA (Edinburgh) was appointed Chief Executive of the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre in September 2014.
Heather previously worked with the Scottish aquaculture industry when a senior civil servant in the Scottish Government where she was responsible for aquaculture, salmonid fisheries and marine licensing. Heather has 25 years’ experience in policy and strategy, influencing national and international relations with and on behalf of businesses, academic institutions, NGOs, local and central Government. She has extensive knowledge of domestic and foreign policy issues having worked in Europe, North America, the Far East and Africa. Heather has managed public sector finances of between £15m and £110m, and led globally dispersed teams of 4 to 46.
Tom Ashton is Operations Director at Xelect Ltd, a provider of expert genetic services to the global aquaculture industry. Tom co-founded Xelect in 2012 to commercialize research into the genetic basis of quality variation in farmed salmon.
Xelect uses genetic techniques to manage selective breeding of a variety of species and is actively developing tools for oyster, mussel and scallop hatcheries. Tom is a marine biologist with a PhD from St Andrews and experience in aquaculture, genetics and bioinformatics.
Talk Title Industry applications of new innovations in shellfish breeding and genetics
There is currently a considerable opportunity to apply modern hatchery techniques to the UK shellfish farming industry, in order to overcome threatening issues such as poor growth and survival of native oysters, M. trossolus introgression in mussels and the variability of spat supply. Hatchery operations would allow a reduced reliance on wild capture of king scallops while driving gains in meat yield and quality. The viability of such hatcheries will depend on the use of genetic tools for broodstock selection. Selective breeding of farmed animals allows the steady improvement of commercially valuable traits such as disease resistance, growth rate and consumer appeal. Careful control of inbreeding allows the preservation of good genetic diversity while applying selection on certain characteristics. Genetic analysis offers the breeder a powerful set of tools for selecting optimal broodstock and managing the breeding programme. Numerous projects are currently underway to develop effective genetic tools for the main UK shellfish species. These include high density SNP chips, functional SNP markers and haplotying protocols. Bivalve genomes are commonly challenging, being rich in null alleles and repetitive elements. These practical challenges are set to be overcome by a new wave of genetic analysis technology based on DNA sequencing.
I am currently Section Leader of Aquaculture training at NAFC Marine Centre delivering aquaculture training courses to industry. I have worked in the Scottish aquaculture industry for 18 years in both freshwater and marine sites.
I am currently Section Leader of Aquaculture training at NAFC Marine Centre delivering aquaculture training courses to industry. I have worked in the Scottish aquaculture industry for 18 years in both freshwater and marine sites.
Summary of presentation;
“The NAFC Marine centre UHI has been delivering training courses to the local aquaculture and fishing industry for over 25 years. The SVQ Level 2 and 3 Aquaculture courses have evolved over time into the current version of Modern Apprenticeships. The NAFC will also now deliver the MA Level 4 Technical Apprenticeship for the first time in 2017. The key to success for aquaculture training is flexible learning strategies tailored to the industry needs, skilled and experienced teaching staff, continued funding by Skills Development Scotland and support by sector skills body Lantra. The NAFC also supports the industry by delivering all industry related shorts courses.”
Neil is the Technical Director with IFFO, the Marine Ingredients Organisation, which represents the global fishmeal and fish oil industry.
Neil’s background is in aquaculture where he has held a number of technical and operations roles for both industry and government.
Marine Ingredients and their Continuing Importance in Aquafeeds.
Summary: The fishmeal and fish oil sector receives regular criticism about the use of these materials in aquafeeds, largely from the perspective of sustainability. Examples will be provided to show that much of this criticism is unjustified and the issue is generally one of volume of supply into the aquafeed market rather than sustainability of the raw material for fishmeal and fish oil production. The argument is taken further to show the strengthening need to use the available fishmeal and fish oil optimally in support of a globally developing aquaculture industry, to maintain both the health of farmed fish as well as the quality of the end product.
Following a 27 year long career at Barony College, a leading Scottish aquaculture education and training provider for many years, Martyn established his own consultancy, Pisces Learning Innovations (PLI).
He has continued to work closely with the aquaculture sector at home and abroad, and PLI are partners within the BlueEDU Sector Skills Alliance led by Norway (See www.pisceslearning.com) news section for further details)
UK Aquaculture Education and Training, past present and future
Aquaculture education and training has developed in the UK from modest beginnings last century, when our industry was embryonic, largely founded on conventional ‘attendance based’ based full time courses.
Today the landscape is very different, with education and training provision available via more flexible delivery modes to meet demand from a wider demographic. Our learners are a diverse group, from secondary school pupils up to mature adults targeting an aquaculture career change. Work based learning, has grown latterly, to serve those who need to ‘learn while they earn’ and in some cases, gain a recognised national qualification.
But what, if anything, have we lost along the way? Are all of the education and training pathways we need properly joined up and in robust health? A clearly defined a national strategy to underpin the development of our aquaculture education and training sector may offer some attractions. Perhaps then we can become more confident that the diverse needs of future learners, wherever they may be based, will be well served. The sector must also work closely with industry to ensure that our workforce has current knowledge and skills and holds trusted and respected aquaculture qualifications.
Carlos Garcia de Leaniz
Professor Carlos Garcia de Leaniz is Chair of Aquatic Biosciences at the Department of Biosciences and Director of the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR) at Swansea University, Wales.
Professor Garcia de Leaniz’s research interests include salmonid aquaculture, aquaculture–wildlife interactions, fish welfare and conservation.
Professor Christopher Secombes is Head of the Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre, University of Aberdeen. Professor Secombes is a comparative immunologist with around 40 years of experience in the study of fish immunology and fish health.
Professor Secombes is the Editor of the high impact journal Fish & Shellfish Immunology. Professor Secombes’ current research focus is on immune regulation and antimicrobial pathways in fish.
Since joining Rabobank International in 2005, Gorjan Nikolik has been an industry analyst focusing on the global seafood sector including aquaculture, wild-catch, seafood trade and processing.
In his primary role, he works as a senior sector expert to Rabobank departments such as Mergers and Acquisitions, Leveraged Finance, Venture Capital, Credit Risk Management and the Relationship Bankers. He is a regular speaker on global seafood and aquaculture conferences and has published research reports covering the seafood industry.
Professor Herve Migaud has been with the Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, since 2002. Recently appointed as Acting Director, Professor Migaud was previously Deputy Director and Director of Research from 2011 to 2016 and is also the Breeding and Genetic Improvement Group Leader.
Professor Migaud is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, a Board Member of the European Aquaculture Society and Fish Farmer.
Dr Neil Hazon is Reader at The School of Biology, St Andrew’s University, and Course Director for the St Andrew’s University Distance Learning Courses in Sustainable Aquaculture.
He has been Director of Postgraduate Studies and responsible for developing a number of MSc and MRes degree programmes. Neil has been a Visiting Research Professor at the Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Japan and, Department of Zoology, University of Queensland, Australia.
Dr Ross Houston is a group leader at the Roslin Institute; part of the University of Edinburgh. Dr Houston’s research programme involves understanding the genetic basis of complex traits in aquaculture species.
He leads projects to apply modern genomic tools to understand the genetic basis of disease resistance, in diverse aquaculture species including Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, Pacific oyster, blue mussel, sea bass, sea bream and common carp.
Professor Simon Davies. FRSB, is Chair in Animal Nutrition and Aquaculture at Harper Adams University in Shropshire, is Honorary Professor at Nottingham University and Visiting Professor at Bristol University School of Veterinary Medicine.
Professor Davies has supervised 35 PhD students and over 300 Masters Students’ with major support of industry and government agencies Professor Davies is also the Editor- in- Chief of International Aquafeed magazine.
Stewart Graham will give the opening Keynote Address at Aquaculture UK 2017. Mr Graham is the founding owner and Managing Director of Gael Force Group and co-Chairs the Aquaculture Industry Leadership Group.
This Leadership Group was set up as a result of one of the key recommendations of the industry-led growth strategy group Vision 2030 which was championed by Mr Graham. The delivery and implementation of the resulting industry strategic plan for farming Scotland’s seas: ‘Aquaculture Growth to 2030’, is initially the main focus of the Industry Leadership Group.
In Mr Graham’s “day job” he heads up the Gael Force Group which he founded in 1983 and is today the leading Scottish SME in the aquaculture equipment and technology supply sector. Their range of activities include the contracted supply of marine and operational equipment, Anchoring and Mooring systems, Feeding Barges, Cameras, Underwater Lights, Seal Deterrents and their new Feeding System. Gael Force have operating and manufacturing bases in Inverness, Stornoway, Forres, Glasgow and Plymouth.
Dr Andrew Davie is a Senior lecturer in Zoology within the Breeding and Genetics group at the Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling.
He has over 17 years of research experience working on environmental entrainment of fish physiology, broodstock management and the domestication of “new” marine fish species. He has worked with a wide range of species in the UK and overseas including Cod, Halibut, Snook, Seabass and most recently Ballan wrasse and Lumpsuckers.
Title: Diversification of farmed species in the UK: what is the evidence for success or failure?
“Diversification” has a range of possible commercial benefits including spreading risk, increasing productivity and opening new markets, but how diverse is the UK aquaculture sector? As an example, in the past 5 years there have been almost 20 different species of finfish farmed within the UK and yet 98 % of production volume and value is due to Atlantic salmon and Rainbow trout. While the production science can have its challenges, the recent expansion of cleaner fish farming demonstrates that commercially viable production programs for “new species” can be realised in relatively short time frames. So this begs the question why do we not see a greater diversity in the volume of aquaculture products from the UK? The drivers behind past successes and failure in the sector will be explored and future opportunities will be discussed.
With global food security becoming more dependent on food farmed in the sea, producing that food sustainably is becoming increasing important.
I am a researcher and senior lecturer in sustainable aquaculture focusing on the development of economically and environmentally sustainable production systems for marine plants and animals. Much of my work focuses on the diversification of the aquaculture industry into novel species and products. Within my current post I am the coordinator of the 5.7 M€ FP7 project IDREEM (Increasing Industrial Efficiency in European Mariculture) in which 15 partners across Europe aim to develop and to assess the social, economic and environmental performance of IMTA (Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture).
The drive to increase profitability and environmental performance has led many industries across Europe and globally to look for ways to reduce both their material inputs and their environmental impacts. This drive has led to the development of the circular economy concept, where waste products from one production process is cycled backed into the production system to be used as a raw materials for another productions process. In doing this, the industry gains a double benefit of reduced waste and increased productivity. This environmental/economic win/win has been an important component of the food production industry for millennia, where nutrient recycling between livestock and arable crops is still common practiceHowever in European aquaculture there has been almost no industry uptake of this concept of nutrient recycling where the concept has been termed Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA).There is a substantial body of scientific evidence to suggest that this recycling of nutrients is possible in modern European aquaculture, where the waste nutrients from fin-fish aquaculture is used as energy and nutrients for organisms such as shellfish and seaweeds. So why has there been little commercial development of IMTA in Europe and what do we need to do to bring the circular economy to the UK industry.
Charles Allan graduated from Stirling University in 1988, and with a further post graduate qualification in 2011, has been involved in aquaculture in Scotland for the past twenty eight years;
initially in commercial salmon production, then working in the Western Isles for the Scottish Office and for the last decade has been head of the Fish Health Inspectorate, based at the Marine Scotland Science Laboratory in Aberdeen.
Title: What support do fish farmers have for tackling disease?
Summary: Aquaculture as we know it in the modern era in Scotland has been dominated by the intensive cultivation of Atlantic salmon. During this brief presentation we will consider the main systems in use in aquaculture and how these have evolved and the causes of some of the diseases which we see in commercial aquaculture today. We will investigate some of the changes in practice that have occurred as the industry has grown and matured, and whether these changes have altered the risk profile of the industry. We will look at some of the interventions that can be made to prevent clinical disease outbreaks in aquaculture animals and steps that can be taken to minimise the impact upon aquaculture stocks where clinical disease outbreaks do occur. The number of fish health professionals has also risen dramatically in the last forty years. Each has a role to play and particular skills and experience to contribute. Insights will be considered from 25 years of experience. Whilst the focus of the presentation will revolve around Atlantic salmon, most of the principles discussed apply to all fish and shellfish equally.
Jose joined the Welsh Government’s Marine and Fisheries Division in 2013 to lead on Policy issues related to shellfish and finfish aquaculture. He is in constant communication with producers, sector representatives and marine stakeholders in Wales and the UK.
Jose is now taking forward the sustainable development of the industry through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) support for aquaculture.
The Regulators’ Viewpoint (Presentation Summary)
With increasing demand for healthier and more affordable seafood products from an ever growing population, there is pressure on regulators to have a flexible approach towards marine planning and to engage with other marine users in a collaboratively way. New and emerging sectors are in the processes of becoming mainstream including aquaponics, macro algae and submersible cages that have potential for future growth. Improved technologies related to Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) are also making the industry viable.
Marine and Fisheries are devolved competences for each of the four UK nations. In Wales, for example both, the Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015 and the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 take a long-term, joined-up approach to social, economic, cultural and natural resources management issues.
The extent to which aquaculture businesses impact or are impacted by other users depends on the footprint of each activity, the type of species farmed and whether the activity is surface or sea-bed located. Therefore, it is essential to adopt a partnership approach in order tackle the various regulatory requirements and to steer the industry on a more sustainable path.
Matthew Sprague is currently a researcher at the Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling. Having gained his PhD (2006) looking at environmental influences on the physiological and behavioural growth responses in salmonids he now works within the Nutrition group.
His interests include the replacement of marine feed ingredients with alternative sustainable sources in salmonid feeds and their effects on lipid and fatty acid composition, as well as studying the nutritional content, specifically omega-3 levels, of wild and farmed seafood.
Novel developments in n-3 sources for use in salmonid feeds
Farmed salmon are a rich source of protein, vitamins and minerals as well as being the main dietary source of omega-3 (n-3) long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA), eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids, which are beneficial to human health and development. The continual increase in global population coupled with growing demand for farmed fish, such as salmon, present a significant challenge for the aquaculture industry. In particular, the traditional finite marine ingredients, fish oil and fishmeal, used in aquafeeds have been increasingly replaced with sustainable alternatives of terrestrial origin as salmon production has increased. However, while many issues regarding protein replacement can be overcome, the replacement of marine oil differs greatly. Terrestrial oils are devoid of any EPA and DHA and their use has subsequently resulted in a decline in the nutritional content of farmed salmon. With a large proportion of the world’s population suffering a deficit in the actual versus recommended intake of EPA and DHA, there is a pressing need for novel sources of n-3 LC-PUFA to be investigated. Consequently, there has been a high level of commercial interest by both agricultural and biotechnology companies in producing microbial and genetically modified n-3 LC-PUFA sources that are the main contenders to complement fish oil as future sources of EPA and DHA in aquafeeds.
Dr. Morten Rye is the CEO of Norway based Akvaforsk Genetics Center (AFGC), a member of Benchmark’s Breeding and Genetics division. AFGC is a leading provider of advanced genetic improvement services to aquaculture industries worldwide.
Rye has extensive experience from genetic research and applied selection programs for 15 fish and crustacean species.
Industry applications of new innovations in finfish breeding and genetics
The rapid developments in relevant areas of genomic research and the substantial drop in sequencing costs in recent years have paved the way for application of novel and powerful tools for increased efficacy in selection programs for aquaculture species. The presentation will focus on practical implementation of genomic information in applied breeding programs for finfish, with examples from salmonids and tilapias. Main advantages of genomic approaches over conventional breeding schemes will be discussed.
Nicki Holmyard has been a specialist freelance writer for 25 years and is currently a contributing editor for SeafoodSource News and Global Aquaculture Advocate. In her capacity as Communications Consultant to Seafood Scotland, Nicki set up and managed the Seafood in Schools project which delivered seafood education to more than 100,000 pupils.
She has served on Scottish Government and other executive committees including the North Sea Regional Advisory Council (NSRAC). For six years Nicki was Chair of the NSRAC Socio Economic Development Committee and Chair of the North Sea Women in Fisheries Network. Nicki is currently heavily involved in the family business, Offshore Shellfish Ltd, which is developing Europe’s largest rope-grown mussel farm off the south coast of England.
Sam Martin is a fish biologist and has over 30 years of experience working on both fundamental biology and industrially relevant research questions. In recent years much of the focus of Sam’s group has been examining how fish health is impacted by changing diets in aquaculture.
This research includes examining possible health implications of new raw materials and also the health promoting activities of functional feeds. Over the last decade there has been a dramatic shift to using plant derived nutrients (proteins and oils) in aquafeeds, but this has many biological implications for the fish which need to be overcome. Several projects have focussed plant ingredients in fish feeds that may contain many antinutritional factors that can lead to reduced performance and potentially compromise fish health. Other projects have examined functional feeds and the inclusion of prebiotics and micronutrients to examine the impact on the immune responses in fish. Over the years Sam has worked with a number of industrial partners both within and beyond the UK, it is clear that knowledge transfer and excellent communication between academic and industrial partners is necessary to ensure impact from research, both from industrial and academic viewpoint.
Simon Lillico is a research scientist at The Roslin Institute and R(D)SVS of The University of Edinburgh. His work focuses on manipulation of livestock genomes, either to model human disease states or to modulate resistance to pathogens.
Genome editing for disease resistance
Genome editors such as CRISPR/Cas9 allow facile manipulation of eukaryotic genomes in vivo. We have pioneered the use of genome editors to alter livestock genomes, and have recently made significant progress in tackling a viral disease of pigs that costs the EU alone an estimated €1.5B annually. We have now turned our hand to applying this technology to Atlantic salmon. We previously identified a single QTL encoding the majority of genetic variation underlying resistance to Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis Virus. We will present data on our progress to modify this locus and assess modulation of disease resistance in a fry challenge experiment.
Paul Howes is the Manager of the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR) at Swansea University. His role forms a vital link in establishing collaborations between academia and industry.
Finfish facilities under his management include those for lumpfish, salmon, tilapia, zebrafish and killifish. Paul also manages the algal facilities at CSAR which are the largest of any higher education institute in the UK. Paul has worked in the aquaculture industry for over 10 years spending his first 7 years developing a company in the Falkland Islands. The company aim was to farm Patagonian Toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides). He was the first person to breed this species in captivity and raise the various life stages.
Hamish Rodger has worked as an aquatic animal veterinarian for over 30 years. He has a MSc and PhD from the Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, Scotland and is Global MD of the Fish Vet Group Ltd., part of Benchmark Holdings plc.
Current research interests include the causes and control of gill disease in finfish, climate change and aquaculture, health and welfare of cleaner fish, and alternate methods for the control of sea lice.
Iain Berrill has worked within the UK aquaculture sector for over 17 years. Following undergraduate and Masters Degrees, he undertook an industry-funded PhD at the University of Stirling, studying the growth and development of Atlantic salmon in freshwater farms.
He then moved to North Wales to investigate opportunities for the production of Arctic charr, before returning to Scotland to work on a wide variety of post-doctoral projects focusing on salmon and trout welfare. In 2010, he moved to the technical department of SSPO, covering a wide range of technical matters in support of the sustainable development of the industry.
Title: Innovation in fish health management within the Scottish salmon farming industry.
Salmon farming is a hugely important industry to rural Scotland, supporting many communities, jobs and associated businesses. In a relatively short period of time it has grown from a small scale industry, with foundations in crofting diversification, to one producing over 170,000 tonnes of salmon per year, and with a global reputation for quality and provenance. The success of the industry has been possible largely due to its willingness to be forward thinking, embracing new developments in technology and innovating to overcome challenges, drawing on strong underpinning research.
Health management is a vital component of any animal production system. Scottish salmon farmers take a proactive approach to health management, ensuring the highest standards of health and welfare of their fish. This presentation will cover the salmon farming industry’s use of innovation to optimise fish health, drawing on examples from throughout its history, including some of the latest developments.
Kevin studied agricultural and environmental science, and worked as a National Park ranger, countryside access officer and environmental conservation project manager before joining Lantra in 2007.
Lantra is the Sector Skills Council for the UK’s land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation industries, where he currently works as Scotland Director.