A scene from Aquaculture UK in 2018, the last time the event was held. Photo: FFE.

Industry counting down to Aquaculture UK

Scotland’s fish farming sector comes together tomorrow when the long-awaited Aquaculture UK trade show and conference begins in Aviemore.

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Covid cancellations mean it’s four years since the last event, and event director Cheri Arvonio, from organiser Diversified UK, said the industry was eager for the show to take place.

“They really need this to reconnect with everyone,” she said in an interview for Fish Farming Expert magazine.“There’s been so much innovation over the last four years since the show was last held, and we’re really excited to be able to showcase the industry’s wares.”

Mairi Gougeon will give the opening address.

Opening address

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon will deliver an opening address at 12.30 pm tomorrow, kicking off both the trade show and the accompanying conference programme.

Gougeon, who also visited salmon farmers exhibiting at last week’s Seafood Expo Global trade fair in Barcelona, is expected of offer the Scottish Government’s perspective on sustainable aquaculture and talk about its forthcoming Vision for Aquaculture and other initiatives, including a more efficient and transparent approach to regulation and marine stewardship.

A spokesperson for industry organisation Salmon Scotland said members were hopeful Gougeon would announce the full implementation of recommendations by Professor Russel Griggs, who carried out a Scottish Government-commissioned report into aquaculture regulation.

Demand for space at Aquaculture UK has prompted event organiser Diversified UK to add extra covered booths outside the exhibition hall, where floorspace has all been sold.

Gael Force will have be displaying its latest pen technology. Photo: Gael Force.

Pens and boats

Some of the equipment of show includes Inverness-based supplier Gael Force’s SeaQurePen 500, along with mooring components and netting.

Shetland’s Fluggaboats will have a workboat on site, and Shetland-headquartered Ocean Kinetics will be showing off its innovative work, including the installation of a Thermolicer treatment system and also technology to electrify fish farm barges.

SAMS Enterprise, the commercial arm of Oban’s Scottish Association for Marine Science, will be showcasing their depositional modelling software, NewDEPOMOD, used to determine the volume of fish that can be grown at a marine site.

Learning and networking

The Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) has lined up a selection of learning and networking opportunities at Aquaculture UK, which runs from tomorrow until Thursday. There is no need to book at these sessions, just turn up.

Sessions include a funding surgery in the conference tent from 2 pm – 3 pm tomorrow (Tuesday) during which SAIC will introduce some of the key organisations that are funding sustainable projects in aquaculture.

SAIC is also offering a chance to meet the team of Norwegian technology supplier Fjord Maritime at the SAIC stand (302) from 3 pm – 3.30 pm tomorrow. Fjord Maritime supplied the battery technology for Gael Force’s first hybrid feed barge, which was recently delivered to Cooke Aquaculture Scotland.

The WiSA (Women in Scottish Aquaculture) Breakfast between 8 am and 9 am on Wednesday in the conference tent is also hosted by SAIC. The informal networking event includes brief talks from Teresa Garzon of PatoGen, Matilda Lomas and Laura Widmer of the Scottish Salmon Company, and Frazer Coupland of Lochaber Chamber of Commerce.

Innovation impact

Staying in the conference tent, SAIC’s Innovation with Impact session (9.15 am – 11.15 am) gives the audience a chance to hear from representatives from some of its funded projects.

Ridgeway Biologicals will give a presentation on the use of autogenous vaccines in aquaculture on SAIC’s stand between 11 am and 11.30 am, and Fjord Maritime will again be available from 11.30 am – 12 pm.

Wednesday afternoon also sees presentations on the stand from Neil Gordon, chief executive of the Global Underwater Hub (12.30 pm -1 pm); Lantra Scotland director Liz Barron-Majerik (1 pm – 2pm); water reuse in aquaculture, presentation by Aquabio (2 pm – 2.30 pm); and Sarah da Silva Pires Marques Barrento, Swansea University, Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR), who will talk about the Lumpfish Operational Welfare Score Index (LOWSI), from 3 pm – 3.30 pm).

From 4 pm – 5 pm, SAIC will also host pre-drinks before the Aquaculture Awards dinner that takes place on Wednesday evening at the Macdonald Aviemore Resort.

Fish Farming Expert

For more information about Aquaculture UK, take a look at the current edition of Fish Farming Expert magazine, available online here, or pick up a free printed copy at Fish Farming Expert’s stand (275) at Aquaculture UK.

The magazine features an interview with event director Cheri Arvonio, a focus on four Scottish companies exhibiting at the event, a look at the conference programme, and a full list of the finalists for the Aquaculture Awards.