Last year's awards, previously only held every two years alongside the Aquaculture UK trade fair, were such a success that they will now be held as an annual standalone event. Photo: Aquaculture UK.

Newly-international aquaculture awards attract American interest

The decision by organisers of the 2019 Aquaculture Awards to open the competition to entrants from outside the UK is paying off.

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Although the deadline for entries isn’t until March 1, event organiser Susan Tinch said there has already been overseas interest.

“We have had a lot of enquiries from abroad and some entries, including some from north America,” said Tinch, who is on the judging panel announced yesterday.

Rob Fletcher: Highlighted experience of fellow judges.

New annual event

The other judges are Alex Adrian, aquaculture operations manager of Crown Estate Scotland; Martin Gill, head of aquaculture and fisheries at Lloyds Register; Rob Fletcher, senior editor of The Fish Site; Nicki Holmyard, head of corporate communications for Offshore Shellfish Ltd; and Professor Dave Little, head of research at the Institute of Aquaculture at the University of Stirling.

The awards, which will be presented on May 29 at a formal event at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, were created as a new annual event following the success of the 2018 Aquaculture Awards at Aquaculture UK in Aviemore.

They are open to anyone involved in aquaculture and feature categories on applied research, animal welfare, international impact and more.

Breadth of experience

“I’m delighted to be on a team with such high-profile figures,” said Fletcher, a former editor of Fish Farming Expert. “The breadth of experience that the judges can bring into play will allow them to make highly qualified decisions on which entries deserve a place on the shortlist for each of our eight categories.”

Nicki Holmyard: Awards celebrate 'brightest and best' in sector.

“I think that awards are an excellent way of celebrating and rewarding people, products, innovations and developments in the aquaculture world,” said Holmyard, who was also a judge last year.

“I’ve been involved in aquaculture for 30 years, both as a shellfish farmer and an industry journalist, and I am pleased to be able to use my experience and knowledge to help reward the brightest and best in our sector.”

Sponsors of the awards, which are run by The Fish Site’s publisher, 5M, are Lloyd’s Register (applied research breakthrough), feed manufacturers Cargill (sustainability) and BioMar (international impact), salmon farmer Mowi (technical innovation) and the Scottish Aquaculture innovation Centre (diversity). Three further categories – people’s choice, most promising new entrant and animal welfare – have not yet been sponsored.

Entries and nominations from both commercial and research sectors from around the world are welcomed. To find out more about each of the categories and to enter or nominate visit and complete the online forms.