The focus of this forum spans the entirety of the Scottish aquaculture sector, encompassing the production of fin-fish, invertebrates and algae.
Scotland is the third largest producer of salmon in the world and has a total aquaculture production of ~160,000 tonnes a year, with a first sale value of ~£585 million (~€687 million). Although much smaller in scale, there are also ambitious targets for the expansion of shellfish production, and continuing interest in developing other marine aquaculture species together with algal cultivation.
The pace and scale of aquaculture development has been accompanied and underpinned by the growth of world leading aquaculture research expertise in our Universities and research institutes, many of whom have been at the heart of European and wider international efforts to develop sustainable aquaculture.
Scotland has been proactive in developing a robust and effective policy and regulatory frameworkl for aquaculture. this process is ongoing and most clearly illustrated in the recent passing of the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill which is designed to ensure that farmed and wild fisheries - and their interactions with each other - continue to be managed effectively,maximising their combined contribution to supporting sustainable economic growth with due regard to the wider marine environment. Scotland's draft Marine Plan made explicit provision for aquaculture expansion with ambition of 32% growth for the salmon sector and 100% increase in shellfish production by 2020.
Whilst current commercial production remains focused on relatively few species, strategic research related to the cultivation of other marine fish and algae continues and there is increasing pressure to move the industry further offshore.
The potential to co-locate aquaculture alongside marine renewables development is also an area of research interest. Multidisciplinary research is being commissioned and applied by the aquaculture industry in an attempt to reduce its environmental impact. Much still need to be done towards reducing the losses related to disease and parasites, diversifying the industry, managing and genetically improving farmed species, replacing and reducing marine ingredients within aquafeeds and in the design of better sited and contained production systems. MASTS is working with the industry to acheive these aims.
Forum Convenor: Dr Andrew Davie (Stirling)
Deputy Forum Convenor: TBC
Steering Group: Sam Martin (Aberdeen University); Rob Raynard (Marine Scotland Science); Adam Hughes & Michele Stanley (UHI-SAMS); Robin Shields (SAIC); Neil Hazon (University of St Andrews); Alastair Lyndon (Heriot Watt University); Lesley McEvoy (NAFC Marine Centre); Iveta Matejusova(Marine Scotland Science), and Dr Andrew Davie (Stirling)
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