The Gael Force stand at Aqua Nor, with a section of its new SeaQurePen 500. The company's stand is nine times the size of the stand it had in 2017, and includes an upstairs meeting area. Photo: Marc Wilson / Gael Force.

Scottish supply sector aiming for big splash

Scotland’s Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing will make a keynote speech at a Scottish aquaculture supply chain seminar being held at Aqua Nor in Trondheim today as companies bid to make their mark on the international stage.

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The seminar is being hosted by Scottish Development International, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), and is designed to showcase the sector’s high standards, innovation and capability.

The event takes place from 12pm to 2pm in the VIP Premium L Meeting Room in Hall A and includes a networking lunch from the kitchen of seafood chef Palle Jørgensen and a tasting session featuring some of Scotland’s finest whiskies and gins.

Gael Force managing director Stewart Graham will be one of several supply chain experts at the seminar.

Expert panel

Ewing will be joined by a panel of supply chain experts including Gael Force managing director Stewart Graham, SAIC chief executive Heather Jones, Inverlussa Marine managing director Ben Wilson, John Marshall of Benchmark Holdings, and Ace Aquatec sales and marketing manager Mike Forbes.

After the seminar Ewing will visit Gael Force stand (Stand 335 in Hall D) for the official unveiling of the Inverness-based company’s SeaQurePen 500 at 3pm.

£900,000 development

The cage cost more than £900,000 to develop, half of which came from HIE, and is designed for offshore high-energy sites.

“It’s been many months in the making,” said Gael Force marketing manager Marc Wilson.

“I think we interviewed 30 or more farm managers and really listened to some of the issues they’ve been having around pens.

“We have sought to lower producer costs though the ability to farm securely at greater scale in high energy sites while reducing pen clutter and increasing system reliability.”

Benchmark's CleanTreat system is one of three finalists for the Innovation Award.

Innovation Award

Sheffield-based aquaculture health, nutrition and genetics business Benchmark (Hall D, Stand 342) was due to find out today if it had won the prestigious Innovation Award presented by Aqua Nor organiser, the Nor-Fishing Foundation.

Benchmark’s CleanTreat system, which removes chemicals from water used in health treatments of salmon, is one of three innovations shortlisted for the prize.

CleanTreat is up against Spectra Lice, a hyperspectral cage camera which counts and reports salmon lice automatically 24 hours a day, and an autonomous cleaning robot from Mørenot Robotics that keeps cage nets free of fouling.

‘Electric fish’

Dundee-based Ace Aquatec won the Innovation Award at the previous edition of Aqua Nor in 2017 for its Humane Stunner Universal (HSU), which allowed for fish to be rendered unconscious in the water before slaughter. This makes the process more humane and improves the quality of the meat by reducing the amount of the stress hormone cortisol produced by the fish.

Ace Aquatec will be exhibiting the HSU along with its “electric fish” seal deterrent and 3D cage camera on a stand it is sharing with its Norwegian distributor, Sterner (Hall D, Stand 329).

No Pavilion

Other UK and Scotland exhibitors include acoustic deterrent device (ADD) manufacturer OTAQ Ltd (G, Stand 732), based in Oban and Lancaster, and St Andrews-based aquaculture genetics specialist Xelect (Hall A, Stand 153).

There is no Scottish Pavilion this year, but SAIC has a stand (Hall A, Stand 145) in which it had set aside an area for Scottish businesses without their own stands to hold meetings with potential clients.

Read more about what Gael Force, Benchmark, Ace Aquatec and OTAQ hope to achieve at Aqua Nor in the current edition of Fish Farming Expert magazine, available to view on the front page of this website.