Francis Murray has managed to collate and make sense of all the data available on the GSI website. Photo: Rob Fletcher

Flying start for salmon symposium

The latest research on an impressive array of subjects – ranging from the search for an AGD vaccine to the genomics of drug resistance in sea lice – was made public an event held at Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture yesterday. 

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The Institute’s first ever Salmon Symposium, it featured talks from 13 of the Institute’s most eminent academics and was organised by Dr Brett Glencross, who was recently appointed as Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange.

Professor Glencross joined the Institute of Aquaculture from the aquafeed division of Ridley. Image by Rob Fletcher

Speaking to Fish Farming Expert during the event, Brett said: “It fits in well with my role as Director of Research and gives us a chance to showcase the Institute’s work, both to academics and the industry – it’s good to be able to show what we’re doing for them. It’s also a great chance to make connections over the lunch break, and in the pub after the event.”

The event attracted an impressive turnout, with more than double the number Brett initially anticipated.

“We were hoping for about 40 attendees, but in the end 93 people accepted the invitation. People have travelled considerable distances to get here too and it’s great to see so many people from the industry, in particular – there are representatives from Scottish Sea Farms, Marine Harvest, Wester Ross Fisheries, SAIC, the SSPO, Aquascot, Zoetis, Biomar, Cargill and Skretting to name but a few,” he enthuses.

Despite this, however, Brett has plans to cast his net further next year, perhaps bringing some retailers, for example, along then.

“Perhaps the only major group not represented this time is the retailers – I aim to explore the option of getting them on board next time, as I’m keen to expand it to cover the full extent of the value chain,” he says.

Although this group may have been absent there was still a real buzz about the event.

“We’re really pleased with how it went – from the feedback I’ve been getting everyone loved the event – and will definitely try to organise it again for next year,” Brett concludes.


The talks on the day were as follows:

John Taylor spoke about unlocking the potential of triploid salmon; Richard Newton outlined the environmental footprint of the industry; Sandra Adams gave an overview of fish vaccine development; Sophie Fridman looked at amoebic gill disease and the development of autogenous vaccines for its control; Monica Betancor explained GM options for omega-3 supply; Ben Clokie revealed his research on the influence of light spectrum on growth and smoltification; Manfred Weidman spoke about the diagnostic window for detection of viruses; Matthew Sprague focused on the levels of omega-3s in salmon; James Bron outlined the key parasites constraining production; Douglas Tocher looked at heading towards zero fishmeal and fish oil; Trevor Telfer discussed Scottish salmon and the environment; Francis Murray outlined four years of the Global Salmon Initiative; and Armin Sturm delved into the genomics of drug resistance in sea lice.