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The issues of sea lice and gill health emerged as a clear priority for producers, suppliers and academics. Environmental challenges were also high on the list, as was sharing best practice and knowledge exchange.

Mortality reduction/improved smoltification

Genetics/breeding for health and quality

Addressing regulatory and planning challenges

Development of new species.

Excellent idea?

TABLE 5: PRIORITY AREAS

What do you see as being the top 3 priorities?

All (%)

Producers (%)

Suppliers (%) Academics (%)

Others (%)

Sea lice and gill health

25

23

28

21

25

Cleaner fish production

7

3

9

7

10

Feed formulation

6

7

5

10

3

Vaccine and medicines

9

10

8

14

3

Production in more exposed locations

11

5

15

12

6

Environmental challenges

17

16

19

14

16

Training

12

18

11

10

3

Other

13

18

5

12

34

The highlighted numbers indicate the highest responses in each category. Note that the responses do not add up to 100% because some respondents were in favour of more than one approach.

‘Yet each has expressed an explicit desire for R&D infrastructure in Scotland that would enable trials of feed related products, in order to support new product development for the local market.’ The report asks if the time is ripe for a Scottish centre of aquaculture “Priorities be aligned to theor a coordinated excellence, be it one should facility comprising different specialisms network of specialist facilities, capable of: industry growth strategy; the focus • Helping develop and test technological solutions that remove the challeng‘We will also offer the study as advisory input to the newly formed Industry es and bottlenecks inhibiting growth in the sector; should becurrently broader than primary Leadership Group tasked with overseeing the actions set out in the recently • Supporting evidence based improvements to the oversight regime under production.” launched Aquaculture Growth to 2030 strategy.’ which Scottish aquaculture currently operates. Download a copy of the report at www.scottishaquaculture.com. FF Respondents thought there was a lack of existing infrastructure to support feed trials and studies for fish in the second half of their growth cycle. A key ‘ask’, therefore, in terms of which facilities would most help Scottish aquaculture businesses to grow, was for the centre of excellence to include seawater and freshwater field trial facilities. TO TAKE THE IDEA FORWARD, THE REPORT While existing tanks, pens, lab space and consents would be utilised wherRECOMMENDS THE FOLLOWING: ever possible, it is likely that new infrastructure would be required in order to 1. Establish a steering group of supportive parties to support industry ambition in this area. explore how best to take the centre of excellence concept Respondents were asked to identify their three main priorities for a centre of excellence, selecting from an eight-strong list of major industry issues. Sea to the next stage, as a precursor to lice and gill health emerged as a clear priority for producers, suppliers and any further commitment; academics. Environmental challenges were also high on the list, as was sharing 2. Conduct a gap analysis to identify and map existing best practice and knowledge exchange.

I think we might find another name for the initiative that better describes what is required

WHAT NEXT?

research facilities in Scotland that could potentially support centre of excellence activities; Funding challenges 3. Review existing UK/Norwegian centre of excellence While there was cross-sector enthusiasm for a centre of excellence, equally models, as well as Scottish industry leadership groups, there was cross-sector concern that it might duplicate existing activity, involve expensive new facilities or structures, or dilute existing investment in Scotland. seeking any lessons that can be learned; There was also concern about the sustainability of funding – possibly in the 4. Prepare a database to identify companies and individuals absence of EU support; that the centre of excellence, once established, might who stated a willingness to collaborate in developing the face future challenges in meeting ongoing running costs. new infrastructure required to support a One (anonymous) respondent said: ‘If you could link together better the centre of excellence; existing facilities, you could have a real powerhouse.’ 5. Draw up a list of commercial projects for the Another (also anonymous) said: ‘There are a number of organisations activecentre of excellence; ly and successfully delivering relevant work, and it may be more appropriate to look at linkages and profile.’ 6. Create a list of companies requiring resources for While a third said: ‘I think we might find another name for the initiative that innovation activities, then cross-reference with those better describes what is required, that is a network of facilities and compeoffering the relevant resources to enable SAIC to tencies that enhances opportunities for applied research and development investigate opportunities for collaboration; relevant to the needs of a growing aquaculture sector.’ 7. Identify candidate sites/facilities suitable for SAIC CEO Heather Jones said: ‘The report recommends establishing a steeracquisition or lease; ing group of supportive parties to explore how best to take the centre of excellence concept to the next stage, as a precursor to any further commitment. 8. Write a business plan for the centre of excellence and ‘We look forward to contributing to the work of that steering group wherevexplore possible funding opportunities. er we can, further helping ensure that industry priorities are addressed.

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Fish Farmer Magazine january 2017  

Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977

Fish Farmer Magazine january 2017  

Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977

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