Mike Forbes presenting at the Global Aquaculture Alliance GOAL conference in Chennai, India, earlier this year. Photo: Ace Aquatec.

Looking back, thinking ahead: Mike Forbes

Fish Farming Expert has asked well-known figures in the Scottish salmon farming industry about their high and low points of 2019, and what they hope for in 2020.Today we feature Mike Forbes, head of sales and marketing for Dundee-based aquaculture technology supplier Ace Aquatec.

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What was your best moment / occasion of 2019?

We have a lot of people working hard throughout the year on new product development, and any time when this work gets recognised by industry peers is always a highlight. This year we were incredibly proud to be awarded a second Queen’s Award for Innovation by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace, and then later win an industry audience vote in India for the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Innovation Award.

During the past year we’ve also welcomed investment from Dutch sustainable aquaculture investment group Aqua-Spark. As well as setting us up for an exciting period of international growth in 2020, it’s also brought us closer to a community of likeminded companies striving towards a shared vision of sustainable growth in the seafood industry.

And what was the worst?

There’s honestly no moment that stands out as “worst”. In any company going through fast growth there are always new problems and challenges that you’re solving for the first time. Sometimes it’s a new customs or HR process, other times it’s managing production of a new product; in any case it comes as part of the business growth, and those are good problems to have!

What’s the one thing you’d most like to see happen to benefit salmon farming in 2020?

There’s no shortage of great work being done by farmers and suppliers across the industry; it’s just often unseen and underappreciated. The farmers we work with all have animal welfare and environmental sustainability as top priorities. My hope for 2020 is that the industry can find ways to better educate consumers on the positive impact salmon farmers have in these areas.

Tomorrow: Lesley Rice, communications and marketing manager for Scottish Sea Farms.