Scotland's Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon cuts a ribbon to open Aquaculture UK at Aviemore in 2022.

Gougeon to open Aquaculture UK

Scotland's aquaculture minister will once again cut the ribbon at Aviemore


Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon will head a line-up of speakers at Aquaculture UK, Aviemore, and open the trade show as she did two years ago, organisers announced today.

The keynote theatre programme, now unveiled, runs alongside the two-day exhibition from May 14-15 and is free to attend.

Gougeon, whose ministerial portfolio includes aquaculture, will update delegates on progress in regulatory reform following Professor Russel Griggs’ independent review of aquaculture consenting, published two years ago.

Griggs said at the time that the reforms could be implemented within a year, but relatively little progress has been made in twice that time.

Vision for aquaculture

Gougeon will also outline ongoing work to support innovation in the aquaculture sector as part of the Scottish Government’s ambitions Vision for Sustainable Aquaculture to 2045. 

She will also address a WiSA (Women in Scottish Aquaculture) networking session, which will focus on professional training and improving communication skills.

Other conference keynote speakers include Kevin Quillen of Glasgow space tech firm Krucial. Quillen and risk management consultant and aquaculture veteran Jason Scott will explore how digitisation can help mitigate the risks of fish farming.

US data company Scoot Science will lead a panel of farm and health managers from Scotland and Canada, including Scottish Sea Farms’ Innes Weir and Bakkafrost Scotland’s Kimberley McKinnell, to discuss new environmental challenges and how technology can improve fish survival.

SAIC's future

The Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) will mark its 10th anniversary with presentations from project partners and will also provide an update on how it will continue to drive research to meet key sector problems, despite reduced funding.

From Chile, innovators - from nanobubble pioneers to biotechnology frontrunners - will examine technology trends in Chilean aquaculture, with representatives of the country’s cutting-edge suppliers both at the conference and exhibiting in the Chile pavilion.

Canadian expertise has its own platform, with the return to this year’s conference of the Centre for Aquaculture Technologies (CAT), delving into the possibilities that gene editing (GE) brings to improved productivity and environmental sustainability in aquaculture.

CAT speakers Alan Tinch and Alejandro Gutierrez will focus on the development of resilient species and will also look at the current regulatory landscape for GE in aquaculture, particularly in the UK and Europe.

Feed ingredients

The adoption of alternative feed ingredients by salmon farmers is a hot topic sector-wide and will be in Aviemore too, when Ian Carr, global business development director of algal oil innovator Veramaris, chairs a panel of novel feed advocates and asks “What will it take to drive the use of alternative ingredients in Scotland?”.

And some of the most familiar challenges in land-based aquaculture will be tackled by Xylem Water Solutions engineer Asbjørn Husby and business development director Ronny Haugland, who are spearheading advances in semi-closed and closed containment, recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) and optimal energy consumption.

Cheri Arvonio, event director at show organiser Diversified Communications, said: “We are delighted to announce details of our keynote programme at Aquaculture UK and look forward to welcoming a wide range of aquaculture experts over the two days.

“With Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, Mairi Gougeon, opening the conference, we expect full houses to hear about all the developments in the sector since we last met here two years ago.”