Scottish Sea Farms' Orkney production manager Richard Darbyshire, left, is presented with the People's Choice award by Campbell Morrison of category sponsor STIM (formerly Europharma), at last year's awards. Photo: Gareth Moore / FFE.

Aquaculture Awards shortlist revealed

The organisers of the Aquaculture Awards have announced the finalists for this year’s competition.

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The shortlist was reached over the course of three conference calls which allowed the six judges to whittle down the contenders for 12 of the 14 categories.

Winners will be announced at a presentation dinner being held on September 16 during the Aquaculture UK exhibition in Aviemore.

The shortlist is:

Finfish farmer of the year (sponsored by Gael Force Group)

  • Lovemore Ndovie, Kayalami Aquaculture
  • Funke Olatunde – a PhD student and fish farmer, Nigeria
  • Ross Fennel – site assistant with the Scottish Salmon Company, Gigha, Scotland
  • Noelia Rodriguez – hatchery manager for Scottish Sea Farms, Barcaldine, Scotland

Shellfish farmer of the year (M&S Select Farms)

  • Gordon Turnbull – owner and operator of Isle of Mull Oysters, Scotland
  • George Holmyard – manager of Offshore Shellfish, Devon, England
  • Koo Eng Wah – Sepang Today Aquaculture Centre, Malaysia

 Outstanding contribution to the industry (Marine Scotland)

  • Amy Novogratz – co-founder and head of Aqua-Spark, Netherlands
  • Alan Henshaw – manager of Calverton Fish Farm, England
  • Alastair Barge – owner/operator of Otter Ferry Seafish, Scotland
  • Djames Lim – CEO of the Lim Shrimp Group, Indonesia

Environmental impact (Cargill)

  • InnovaFeed – insect protein producer, France
  • Fjord Maritime – generators for feed barges, Norway
  • Nofir – recycling, Norway
  • EWOS/Cargill Aqua Nutrition – developing compostable feed bags, Scotland

Aquaculture supplier of the year (Stingray)

  • Benchmark Genetics/StofnFiskur
  • Ace Aquatec
  • NAFC Marine Centre UHI
  • Gael Force Group

 Community initiative

  • Loch Duart – Salmon Pool community funding
  • Mowi Scotland – Salmon Wagon
  • The Scottish Salmon Company - Outer Hebrides Local Energy Hub (OHLEH), Lewis

Economic sustainability (BioMar)

  • Aquaseed Fishtecknik – fish smokers, Nigeria
  • The Scottish Salmon Company – ‘Apprentice to Expert’ training scheme, Scotland
  • Scottish Sea Farms – Eday employee housing, Scotland
  • The Scottish Salmon Company - Outer Hebrides Local Energy Hub (OHLEH), Lewis, Scotland

Animal welfare (MSD Animal Health)

  • John Avizienius and Malcolm Johnstone – RSPCA Assured
  • FAI Farms – Tilapia wellbeing project
  • Benchmark Genetics – SalmoBreed Salten
  • Ace Aquatec and Scottish Sea Farms – novel slaughtering systems

 Innovation (Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre)

  • Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group – novel packaging
  • Vita Aqua Feeds (World Feeds Ltd) – cleaner fish feed blocks
  • EWOS/Cargill Aqua Nutrition/Gaia BioMaterials Ltd – compostable feed bags
  • Ace Aquatec & Scottish Sea Farms – novel slaughtering systems

Rising star (AILG Skills Grou)p

  • Funke Olatunde – Imoran Farms, Nigeria
  • Rosie Dreghorn – Cargill/EWOS, Scotland
  • Zoe Fletcher – AquaBio Tech Group, Malta
  • Ivana Russon – BioMar, Scotland

Unsung hero

  • Professor Charles Ngugi - Kenya
  • Dr Martin Jaffa – Callander McDowell, UK
  • Nigel Woodhouse – Hawkshead Trout, UK
  • Nick Bradbury – BioMar, UK

Collaboration (University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture)

  • The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI)
  • Mowi Scotland – River Lochy salmon enhancement project
  • Davidsons Animal Feeds / The James Hutton Institute – seaweed in livestock feeds
  • Benchmark Genetics / Nofima – development of whitespot-resistant shrimp

In addition, there will be two special awards. One is for the best overall aquaculture company to be shortlisted, which is sponsored by Crown Estate Scotland and decided at the judges’ discretion.

Meanwhile the winner of the people’s choice category, which is sponsored by Sølvtrans, is to be decided by an open vote. Any individual involved in the aquaculture sector can vote for one of the nominated candidates. Details of how to vote will be released shortly on the Aquaculture Awards website.

Cheri Arvonio: Quality has been outstanding.

‘Stand-out individuals’

“The Aquaculture Awards are a fantastic way to recognise the achievements of those stand-out individuals who are making an exceptional contribution to the industry,” said event director Cheri Arvonio.

“Once again, the quality of this year’s awards entries has been outstanding. Congratulations and good luck to each of our shortlisted finalists.”

The judges are Alex Adrian, aquaculture operations manager of Crown Estate Scotland; Martin Gill, head of aquaculture and fisheries at Lloyds Register; Nicki Holmyard, Director of Offshore Shellfish Ltd; Professor Dave Little, head of research at Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture; Ingrid Olesen, senior scientist at Norwegian research institute Nofima; and The Fish Site’s Rob Fletcher.