Gael Force staff next to a section of a fish pen walkway at Aqua Nor in 2019. The Inverness-based supplier will have a similar display in Trondheim this week.

There's far more at Aqua Nor 2023

The number of exhibitors at the the world's biggest fish farming trade show has grown, and Scotland’s contribution is bigger than ever


The world’s biggest fish farming trade show, Aqua Nor, which takes place this week, is larger than ever this year, with around 700 exhibitors. And there is a strong Scottish presence, thanks in large part to a Scottish Pavilion (D-334) organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), and the Marine Directorate of the Scottish Government.

The Pavilion provides an opportunity for companies that might not otherwise have been able to afford their own stands in Trondheim, and will host a programme of events that will be opened by Scotland's Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon, whose Scottish Government responsibilities include aquaculture.

There are 18 Scotland-linked exhibitors in the Pavilion, covering a wide range of products and services.

Mairi Gougeon cuts the ribbon to open Aquaculture UK in Aviemore last year, and will perform the same task at the Scottish Pavilionat Aqua Nor tomorrow.

They include Stirling-based fish vaccinator Aqualife Services Ltd, and Aberdeenshire crane and hydraulics specialist Brimmond.

Next-gen seal scarer

GenusWave is a company founded by marine biologists from the Sea Mammal Research Unit of St Andrews Univserity. Its Targeted Acoustic Startle Technology (TAST) emits a sound that it says keeps predatory seals from salmon farms and fisheries without harming the seals or the salmon.

The company says TAST is “light-years more advanced than primitive acoustic deterrent devices”, meets every requirement of the US Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and is the only acoustic deterrent approved by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).

GenusWave has also developed technology that it says emits a unique sound that interferes with the ability of sea lice to recognise and target salmon, stopping salmon from becoming a host.

Kelp forest

Cumbernauld-based I & C Process Solutions Ltd offers complete solutions in the fields of water and wastewater, including chemistry, process, and engineering, while KelpRing, run by former scallop diver and ballan wrasse fisherman Martin Welch, provides a natural kelp forest environment for wrasse and lumpfish within the lice zone of the salmon pens while still allowing all standard fish farming operations to be undertaken.

Krucial (formerly R3-IoT) is a satellite-enabled communication specialist that has added continuous video streaming to its Connected Seafarm solution for aquaculture, which will enable fish farmers to remotely obtain feeding and environmental information from anywhere on the planet.

MiAlgae is one of two companies in the Pavilion that provide alternatives to omega-3 derived from marine ingredients. MiAlgae’s omega-3 from microalgae fed on wastewater from low-value co-products from the food and drink industry, such as whisky distilleries.

Algal oil

The other omega-3 supplier is Veramaris, which grows a specific type of marine algae, Schizochytrium sp., by using sugars from renewable beet, wheat, and corn, and fermentation to produce an algal oil containing more than 50% EPA and DHA, the beneficial long-chain fatty acids in omega-3.

Although Veramaris is headquartered in the Netherlands and produces its algal oil in the United States, its global business development director Ian Carr is based in Scotland.

Moredun Scientific Ltd is a contract research organisation specialising in animal health and aquaculture product development and biosafety testing of biopharmaceuticals.

Aquaculture and marine technology company OTAQ Ltd will be promoting its Live Plankton Analysis System focused on providing early warning of harmful algal blooms.

R&D facility

Otter Ferry Seafish, based at Loch Fyne, Argyll, produces both lumpfish and wrasse for use as cleaner fish, and also has a research and development facility established in conjunction with the UK’s Agri-EPI (engineering, precision, innovation) Centre and co-funded by Innovate UK.

The trials facility comprises six 20m³ and twelve 2m³ aquaculture rearing tanks, equipped with programmable lighting, automatic feeding, and oxygen and pH monitoring systems. All tanks are supplied with filtered, UV-disinfected seawater, with waste feed collectors fitted to the outflows. The facility is suitable for rearing diverse species including fin fish and microalgae, shellfish, and seaweed.

Tritech International Limited has branches in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, and its product range includes sonar products and sensors for aquaculture.

Tritonia Scientific, based at Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratories, Oban, creates scaled, measurable 3D digital models of objects or terrain – including underwater locations – from multiple overlapping images, a process known as Structure of Motion Photogrammetry.


Aberdeen-based Underwater Contracting Ltd is a leading provider of underwater services for the maintenance of aquaculture sites throughout Scotland, Canada and Europe. It offers ROV (remotely operated vehicle) services for tasks such as mortality management and site surveys, and also provides net inspection and patching, and high-pressure cleaning.

The other organisations in the Pavilion are Stirling University’s Institute of Aquaculture, HIE and SAIC, Fish Farmer magazine, and SAMS Enterprise, the commercial services arm of the Scottish Association for Marine Science.

Positioned across the aisle from the Scottish Pavilion, Inverness-based Gael Force Group (D-341) will be displaying a range of equipment on its 80m² stand space with upper deck and will handing out a new edition of its product catalogue.

On show will be a display section of the company’s Triton pen system with new in-pen features, including a new decking system, handrail cabling arrangement and an under-deck winch support structure.

Semi-closed system

Alongside the improved Triton pen, Gael Force will be launching the latest component in its moorings range – the SeaQureLink Ultra – a much larger mooring node designed to accept large fibre connections in exposed high energy sites.

Gael Force said it had made significant progress on further development of its SeaQureFarm and the SeaQureWell semi-closed containment system announced at Aquaculture UK in May last year. The company will be presenting an update on this during Aqua Nor, highlighting the range of environmental and circular economy benefits of the full system.

The company will also be holding a ‘Happy Hour’ each day.

Other Scottish companies with their own stands include Dundee-based Ace Aquatec (G-726), which has a range of products including various iterations of the in-water electric stunner that won the Innovation Prize at Aqua Nor in 2017, and St Andrews aquaculture genetics specialist Xelect (G-324).

Other UK companies at Aqua Nor are ANB Sensors Ltd (D-315), Balmoral Tanks Ltd (C-030), Blueprint Subsea (A-145) and Evoaqua Water Technologies (C-024).

Scottish Pavilion events programme

Day 1 – Tuesday, 22 August

12:00-13:00 Official opening of the Scottish Pavilion, including an opening address by Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon, and exhibitor spotlight

13:30-14:00 DSM’s sustainability service: Sustell, presented by Louise Buttle, DSM

14:30-15:00 Presentation by Kypher Shreves, environmental microbiologist with OTAQ Group, on the company’s LPAS (Live Plankton Analysis System) focused on providing early warning of harmful algae blooms

15:30-16:00 Video presentation and Q&A on GenusWave’s targeted acoustic startle technology and sea lice defence technology

16:30-17:00 Eliminating reliance on wild-caught fish as a source of omega-3, by Douglas Martin, managing director of MiAlgae, which produces omega-3 from microalgae fed on wastewater from low-value co-products from the food and drink industry 

Day 2 – Wednesday, 23 August

10:30-11:30 Innovation Nations: exploring how different aquaculture-producing nations fund, drive, adopt and commercialise innovation. International panel members share their experience, challenges, and opportunities, and discuss how collaborative approaches towards innovation will drive forward sustainable growth in aquaculture.

11:30-12:30 VIP reception with Cabinet Secretary Mairi Gougeon, exhibitors and guests

14:00-14:30 Presentation on the National Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Hub by Professor Simon MacKenzie, head of the University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture

15:00-15:30 Infectious disease models to support the development of fish health products, presented by Rhona Macdonald and Bill Roy of contract research organisation Moredun Scientific, near Edinburgh

16:00-16:30 Digitising aquaculture operations, presented by satellite-enabled communication specialist Krucial (formerly 3-IoT)

Day 3 – Thursday, 24 August

10:30-11:00 Marine and Freshwater Facilities; Nutrition Analytical Service (NAS), presented by James Dick, technical manager at the Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling

11:30-12:00 Digital SalmoFan, presented by Fabio Cervellione, DSM

12:30-13:00 Why collaboration is key to making aquaculture innovation a reality, presented by Laura Elphick, ecosystem manager, European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) Food

14:30-15:00 Environmental modelling to support aquaculture productivity, presented by Amber Irwin-Moore, aquaculture environmental consultant for SAMS Enterprise