The awards dinner at Aquaculture UK in 2018. This year judges have more entries to choose from.

Entries jump for Aquaculture Awards

The number of entries for this year’s Aquaculture Awards at Aquaculture UK in Aviemore in May has increased by 34% compared to the last time the awards were held there in 2018.

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And last year’s decision to open the awards to those overseas has proved a hit, with submissions from 17 different countries.

“We have had a lot more interest than in previous years,” said organiser Susan Tinch.

“As an industry I feel we are far more aware of celebrating our successes. It is a great reflection of what is happening in the industry.”

Susan Tinch: "The applications have been superb."

Rising stars

The most popular category has been Rising Stars, for employees under 35, which is perhaps an indicator of the emphasis aquaculture is putting on attracting and keeping good young workers.

“The applications have been superb,” added Tinch. “It is going to be a really good night.”

The judging panel is now working through the entries and will meet at the end of March to draw up a shortlist for each category and select the overall Best Aquaculture Company. 

Public vote

The shortlist is due to be announced at the beginning of April, when the organisers will also open public voting for the People’s Choice award.

The Aquaculture Awards used to be run in conjunction with the biennial Aquaculture UK trade show, but the Awards are now held annually.

Last year’s categories differed from those in 2018 and this year’s have changed again.

They are:

  • Best Aquaculture Company
  • Finfish Farmer of the Year
  • Shellfish Farmer of the Year
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Industry
  • Environmental Impact Award
  • Aquaculture Supplier of the Year
  • Community Initiative
  • Economic Stability Award
  • Animal Welfare
  • Innovation Award
  • Rising Star Award
  • People’s Choice Award
  • Unsung Hero
  • Collaboration

The winners will be announced at an awards dinner being held during Aquaculture UK on Wednesday, May 20.

The trade show is still scheduled to go ahead despite the coronavirus outbreak that has led to the postponement of events including Seafood Expo Global in Brussels.

Organisers hope the worst of the outbreak in the UK will have passed by mid-May.