Stirling University, which is hosting Aquaculture Careers 2017. Image: Rob Fletcher.

Themes announced for Aqua UK

Accelerating production innovation; practical breeding and genetics; the health and welfare of cultured fish and shellfish; innovations in finfish feeds; and the financial outlook for key aquaculture sectors have been announced as the key themes for the inaugural Aquaculture UK conference. 

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The event is taking place at Stirling Court Hotel, on the grounds of the University of Stirling, on 13-15th June and the event organisers have just released the preliminary details.

A reception on the evening of the 13th will be followed by two days of talks and discussions, and will include a session on practical breeding and genetics, which will highlight the importance and potential of selective breeding to improve sustainable aquaculture production in the UK.

This session will be chaired by Dr Ross Houston from the Roslin Institute, and will include presentations from leading academic and commercial scientists in the field of applied genetics and breeding. The programme will include an overview of the state-of-the-art techniques for aquaculture breeding, including lessons that can be learned from genomic selection in the terrestrial livestock breeding sector.

Leading industry representatives will give an update on commercial developments in selective breeding for aquaculture; with presentations covering finfish and shellfish breeding respectively. Finally, the programme will include an insight into new breeding technology; specifically, CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing and the potential of this technology for research and application in aquaculture breeding.

“Genetic improvement of aquaculture stocks via selective breeding is increasingly recognised as a central component of sustainable production. This session will gather a range of academic and industry experts to present recent advances in breeding and genetics, including their practical applications to help tackle industry problems such as infectious diseases,” Dr Houston explained to Fish Farming Expert.

Preliminary details of the main sessions are as follows:

  • Accelerating Production Innovation, Chaired by Professor Herve Migaud, Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling
  • Health and welfare of fish and shellfish in culture, Chaired by Professor Chris Secombes, University of Aberdeen.
  • Innovations in finfish feeds/ingredients/feed technology, Chaired by Professor Simon Davies, Harper Adams University
  • Finance: macro industry factors and outlook for key aquaculture sectors, Chaired by Mr Gorjan Nikolik, Rabobank.
  • Infrastructure, regulation and compliance, Chaired by Professor Carlos Garcia de Leaniz, University of Swansea.
  • Skills development, education and training: what is the industry looking for? Chaired by Dr Neil Hazon, University of St Andrews.
  • Driving up quality and value, what role for labelling, certification and standards? Chaired by Dan Lee, University of Bangor.