Hans Bjelland has worked at SINTEF in Trondheim, Norway since 2008 and specialises in aquaculture innovation. Photo: Kyst.no.

SAIC strengthens science panel

Five industry experts have joined the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre’s Independent Scientific Panel (SISP), which provides objective scientific opinion to inform the centre’s projects.

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Dr Lydia Brown MBE, Dr Hans Bjelland, Dr Heather Moore, Dr Clive Talbot and Dr Hamish Rodger bring a range of expertise from industry and academia, SAIC said in a press release.

The SISP is made up of nine members, who bring together extensive knowledge of aquaculture research from around the world.

Lydia Brown: Drug development.

Pharmacology specialist

Brown, a pharmacology specialist, is heavily involved with drug development for aquatic species and developed the EU’s first licensed viral vaccine for salmon.

Bjelland has worked at SINTEF - one of Europe’s largest independent research organisations – headquartered in Trondheim, Norway, since 2008. He currently specialises in innovation within aquaculture operations and has a wide-ranging industry network.

Heather Moore: Advises DAERA.

Shellfish management

Moore is a senior scientific officer for the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), which carries out high technology R&D, statutory, analytical and diagnostic testing and consultancy work for government and commercial companies globally.

She also provides scientific advice to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

In her role with the European Commission’s Expert Group for Integrated Coastal Zone Management, she is responsible for shellfish aquaculture management.

Talbot is an experienced industry consultant who has previously worked with multi-national seafood producers, such as Mowi. He has built an international reputation for aquaculture research services, with authority on fish biology and fish farming operations.

Hamish Rodger: More than three decades of experience.

Veteran vet

Rodger, a founding member of the Fish Vet Group, is an aquatic animal veterinarian with more than 30 years’ experience researching industry challenges such as gill disease, sea lice control and the effects of climate change. He also launched the European College of Aquatic Animal Health in 2016.

SISP chair, Professor Julie Fitzpatrick, said: “We’re proud to build a network that has the potential to boost growth and development, helping the Scottish aquaculture industry to thrive.

“SAIC plays an important role in supporting innovation across the sector and our talented panel is well placed to support the collaborative projects aimed at tackling some of the industry’s main challenges.”

Industry-renowned experts

David Gregory, chairman of SAIC, said: “We are working hard to ensure the sustainable growth across the aquaculture sector – including one of Scotland’s most important food exports.

“With industry-renowned experts from a wide range of backgrounds strengthening our scientific panel, SAIC has access to the skills and knowledge to support growth in the sector.

“We’re continuing to harness the benefits of collaboration, encouraging producers and academia to work together on projects which have the potential to influence big changes in the sector – with valuable input from our scientific panel.”