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A world of talent: Aquaculture Awards finalists named from around globe

The winners of the Aquaculture Awards 2019 will be announced at a dinner at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, next month.
The winners of the Aquaculture Awards 2019 will be announced at a dinner at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, next month.

A wide range of companies and individuals from around the world have made the shortlists for the eight categories of the 2019 Aquaculture Awards.


Taking place in Dynamic Earth, in Edinburgh, on May 29, the awards highlight the range of talent involved in the global aquaculture sector.

Crown Estate Scotland's Alex Adrian is among the judges.
Crown Estate Scotland's Alex Adrian is among the judges.

“We were pleased to gather a diverse panel of judges, featuring Alex Adrian, aquaculture operations manager of Crown Estate Scotland; Martin Gill, head of aquaculture and fisheries at Lloyds Register; Nicki Holmyard, director of Offshore Shellfish Ltd; Professor Dave Little, head of research at Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture; Ruth Layton, co-founder of, and sustainability director at Benchmark Holdings; and The Fish Site’s Rob Fletcher,” said event organiser Susan Tinch in a press release.

“It was an interesting day, with no shortage of debate over the relative merits of the 67 entries and nominations, but the six judges managed to whittle down the contenders for each category to make the shortlists.”

Finalists include entrants from the United States, Panama, Ghana and Nigeria, as well as Norway.

The category shortlists are:

Applied research breakthrough (sponsored by Lloyd’s Register)

  • Aqua BioTech Group – the Maltese firm has established a multi-species hatchery and smolt facility at Buckieburn, Scotland
  • Nutrition Research Group – optimising the use of omega-3 oils in salmon production, Institute of Aquaculture, Scotland
  • BioMar/Mowi/Scottish Sea Farms/the University of Stirling and SAIC – closing the cycle for captive ballan wrasse, Scotland
  • Troutlodge – the US firm has used genetics to combat losses caused by bacterial cold water disease (BCWD) in rainbow trout

Sustainability (sponsored by Cargill)

  • Bioretur – converting fish waste to biogas and fertiliser, Norway
  • Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta – providing training to boost catfish farming productivity in Nigeria
  • Ictyogroup – developing effective Streptococcus vaccines in Ghana
  • Veramaris – Dutch algal oil producer

International impact (sponsored by BioMar)

  • Hatch – aquaculture accelerator based in Bergen
  • Nutrition Research Group - nutritional analysis with a global reach, Institute of Aquaculture, Scotland
  • Prairie AquaTech – Me-Pro soy-based, phosphorous-reducing feed ingredient, South Dakota
  • Veramaris – algal oil producer, based in the Netherlands

People’s choice*

  • Gorkha Ahedo – field team supervisor, InnovaSea Systems, Panama
  • Caitriona Carter, France-based author of The Politics of Aquaculture: Sustainability Interdependence, Territory and Regulation in Fish Farming
  • Richard Derbyshire – Orkney regional production manager, Scottish Sea Farms
  • Yilin Li – quality control supervisor, INVE Aquaculture, Salt Lake City
  • Nathan Pyne-Carter – managing director, Ace Aquatec, Scotland

Most promising new entrant (sponsored by Primer Design)

  • Foover mort removal system - Underwater Contracting Limited
  • Kendal Hunter – farm manager, Mowi Scotland
  • Manolin - software analytics to help farmers optimise treatments and improve their fish health
  • Clara McGhee – farm technician, Mowi Scotland

Animal welfare (sponsored by Benchmark)

  • Ace Aquatech – Hell Raiser electric seal deterrent
  • Europharma – SuperSmolt FO
  • Marks & Spencer - the M&S Welfare Outcome Measure Programme
  • Seneye – smart water quality sensor

Technical innovation (sponsored by Mowi)

  • Benchmark Animal Health – CleanTreat, purification of water used in bath treatments
  • Pentair – Pentair Vaki Smartflow System
  • Underwater Contracting Limited – Foover mort removal system
  • XpertSea – the Canadian firm’s growth platform

Diversity (sponsored by Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre)

  • Open Blue Sea Farms – offshore cobia producers, Panama
  • Scottish Sea Farms

*The winner of the people’s choice category is to be decided by an open vote. Any individual involved in the aquaculture sector can vote for one of the five candidates who have been nominated. Details of how to vote will be released shortly.