Business

We're a research and business hub providing consultancy, scientific collaboration and expertise to develop new technology and practice in aquaculture.

Our global strategic partnerships and our business services help us to tackle the problems of feeding the world, sustainability and food security.

Our extensive marine and freshwater facilities operate to the highest standards and are available to conduct pioneering commercial research at molecular, cellular and whole organism levels.

We’re also a global resource for governmental and regional decision-making bodies. We advise policy makers, regulatory bodies and business on a range of biological, pathological and environmental issues.

Our business services

Research facilities and contract services

We offer consultancy services, marine and freshwater research facilities and a long-established contract research service.

Nutrition Analytical Services

We are a commercial analytical service for the feed and food sector, utilising state-of-the-art laboratory facilities.

Blood spot test

We analysise Omega 3 fatty acids for pharmaceutical companies and clinical laboratories.

Continuing Professional Development

We deliver continuing professional development training in a wide variety of aquaculture-related areas.

Water quality analysis

We’ve been providing environmental survey services to the aquaculture industry, water authorities and private clients since 1984. We specialise in providing core environmental consultancy that allow our clients to fulfil their statutory and regulatory needs. Our consultancy ranges from monitoring of water quality to providing advice on site developments and environmental impact.

We’re a dedicated and experienced team of researchers, scientists and technicians. We also work with countries who are developing their aquaculture sectors and help then to minimise adverse environmental and social impacts.

Veterinary diagnostics

We work across the aquaculture sector providing total health management for fish stocks.

We’re committed to high standards of veterinary care and attention. We’re experts in the diagnosis of fish diseases and can provide regular fish health screening using parasitology, bacteriology, histology, virology and specific pathogen certification. Live and freshly dead samples of fish can also be brought directly to us for examination.

In addition, we provide training in the identification and treatment of fish diseases through our continued professional development short courses. Find out how we can help you and your staff with training in aquaculture.

Therapeutant testing

We were the first European centre working primarily on aquaculture research to receive a statement of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) compliance, and since 1994 we have conducted studies in both clinical and non-clinical fields. We’ve specially designed facilities available for testing new therapeutants for the aquaculture industry.

All medicines approved for use in animals and bound for human consumption, must be safe and meet limits on tissue residues. Our studies are performed in compliance with GLP and Good Clinical Practice (veterinarian) (GCPv).

Our experience and expertise cover:

  • feed performance studies
  • Toxicity testing


We can work on any species but have particular experience with:

  • Atlantic salmon
  • Rainbow trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Arctic Charr
  • Pangasius catfish
  • Tilapia
  • Carp
  • Barramundi

Performance testing of novel feeds

We have a long track record of testing novel feeds, ingredients and additives in relation to fish performance. Our freshwater and seawater facilities provide controlled aquatic environments where performance can be monitored, and analyses tailored to requirements.

Our analytical services provide a wide range of biological measurements from molecular to behavioural than can be deployed to your project. We provide bespoke experimental and analytical design delivering the breadth and depth of biological information that aligns to your aims and requirements.

Broodstock and smolt management advice

We’re world leading experts in breeding and genetic improvement. We support commercial broodstock management and on-growing practices for established and new fish species.

This includes characterisation of reproductive development, guidance and implementation of optimal biotech approaches to maturation control, light set-up and efficiency, population sexing and maturation (sex steroid profiling, ultrasound scanning), smoltification regimes and monitoring (ATPase activity) etc.

Sea lice drug-resistance testing

We offer lab-based testing and monitoring for infection, genetic resistance and drug-resistance of sea lice, allowing us to fight infections. 

We've a fantastic track record with sea lice, and are the only facility in the UK to have a range of sea lice strains including drug-naïve strains.  We’ve an in-depth understanding of the sea lice life cycle allowing us to investigate and identify how to combat this serious production and welfare issue.

Sustainability metrics and life cycle assessments

We offer cutting-edge sustainability metrics aligned to current international aquaculture standards and EDI ambitions for organisations in farmed seafood value chains. Intrinsic to these are Life Cycle Assessments for your business or product through which you can identify trajectories of improvement and develop your marketing plan based on independent evidence.

Our labs and facilities

Inside the Marine Environmental Research Laboratory

Marine Environmental Research Laboratory (MERL)

MERL is the Institute’s marine hosting a wide range of academic and contract research, including pharmaceutical development for salmonid aquaculture to the Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) standard. 

Inside the Niall Bromage Freshwater Research Unit

Niall Bromage Freshwater Research Unit

NBFRU is our salmonid freshwater capability conducting a wide variety ofstudies and tests.

Graduate Apprenticeship

Enhance your data science capacity by upskilling your existing workforce or recruiting motivated new talent with our fully funded programme.

Contact Fiona McMillan on fiona.mcmillan@stir.ac.uk.

Graduate apprenticeship: information for employers

Contact us

Get in touch for advice and queries on all our services