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Aqualife's Portugal-based fish welfare service will focus on farmed sea bass, pictured, and bream. Photo: 21Food
Aqualife's Portugal-based fish welfare service will focus on farmed sea bass, pictured, and bream. Photo: 21Food

Aqualife Services has launched a new European fish health and welfare service to tie in with an increased internationalisation of its vaccination services. Based in Portugal, the service is centred on fish vet Nuno Ribeiro, who joined the company in June.

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The initial focus will be on flatfish farms on the Atlantic coast and bass and bream aquaculture in the Mediterranean, the Stirling-headquartered firm said, adding that this is just the start of Aqualife’s ambition to provide holistic health and welfare services to its global vaccination customers.

Head of Fish Health and Welfare, Ronnie Soutar, said: “Aqualife’s role in vaccine delivery is only part of what keeps farmed fish healthy. Our traditional markets in salmonid aquaculture have been pretty well served by fish health professionals but that is not always the case with the new ventures who are increasingly using our services.

"Of course, we work closely with fish health colleagues already involved with customers’ farms but we also see a need to develop our own service to fill gaps and expand the practical help available to farmers. It’s great to have Nuno join us, to help turn our strategic aims into reality.”

Core team

Nuno Ribeiro is central to Aqualife's expansion.
Nuno Ribeiro is central to Aqualife's expansion.

Aqualife owner and CEO, Gordon Jeffrey, said: “The core team of Ronnie and Nuno really brings something special to fish health services. Ronnie has decades of experience and is, I believe, the only fish vet who has been directly responsible for running farms - he worked as production manager for an international salmon company. Nuno represents the new generation of fish vets, full of enthusiasm yet realistic about practical measures. He joins us with hands-on experience of having actually worked on fish farms – we’re very glad to have him on board.”

University of Stirling alumnus Ribeiro said: “While being able to work from my home base in Portugal is ideal, I’m ready and willing to travel anywhere to help prevent and treat fish health threats. I really like the Aqualife focus on practical help. I’ve been working with a range of diagnostic service providers to ensure we have all the support required behind the scenes, but a main aspect of our service will be the interpretation of results which Ronnie and I can provide, to translate into practical recommendations at farm level.”

Riberio and Soutar will be at AquaNor this week, with Aqualife maintaining a presence in the Scottish Pavilion (stand A-006).

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