Mikael Lefebvre and Valérie Robitaille, of Quebec-based shrimp data collection firm XpertSea, one of the winners at last year's Aquaculture Awards, the first year it was opened up to overseas entrants. So far this year, overseas entries outweigh those from Scotland. Photo: FFE.

Overseas eyes on the prize at Aquaculture Awards

Overseas entrants have been quicker out of the blocks than UK firms in the contest for this year’s Aquaculture Awards, which will be presented at Aquaculture UK in Aviemore in May.

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Organiser Susan Tinch said entries had been received for each category, but not yet enough to draw up a decent shortlist.

“They have been predominantly from outside the UK at the moment, but there is opportunity for everyone to showcase their business, skills and talents to a global audience,” said Tinch.

The awards used to be held once every two years but have become an annual event and were opened up to entrants from outside the UK and Ireland last year. 

More than 200 exhibitors

The Aquaculture UK trade show, which takes place both inside and outside a large temporary exhibition hall, “is 98% full inside, we’re looking at well over 200 exhibitors and 2,500 visitors”.

This year’s event takes place over three days rather than the two days it previously covered.

“It just gives people a bit more breathing space,” explained Tinch.

“People have said that in the past they have not had enough time to see everything.”

Closing date

The closing date for entries for the Aquaculture Awards in March 9.

There are 13 categories that can be entered here:

  • 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 Sustainability Award
  • Animal Welfare
  • Innovation Award
  • Rising Star Award
  • Unsung Hero
  • Collaboration

The winners will be chosen by a panel of judges from throughout the industry.

There is also a People’s Choice Award, which will be chosen by people attending Aquaculture UK and readers of The Fish Site website, which is owned by 5m, the up-for-sale publishing and exhibitions arm of aquaculture genetics, health and nutrition company Benchmark.

Voters will be able to choose ant company or individual that makes the shortlist of any other award category.