Liberal Democrat MEP for Scotland, Mr George Lyon MEP, made a special visit to the University of Stirling recently, where he was given a hands-on demonstration of the challenges posed by sea lice.
The parasitology demonstration – which involved Mr Lyon dipping his hand into water to find sea lice attached to his skin only seconds later – exhibited how rapidly sea lice are able to attach to their hosts.
The exhibit was part of a tour of the University’s world class Institute of Aquaculture, which enabled Mr Lyon to find out about the various research projects being carried out, meet with staff and students and discuss how the research may benefit Scotland and communities across the globe.
Sea lice research at Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture is being carried out to develop ways to minimise the impact of sea lice - a naturally-occurring parasite that kills huge numbers of both farmed and wild salmon every year.
Mr Lyon, who was shown around by the Institute’s Director, Professor Brian Austin, also visited the tropical aquarium and various laboratories to hear about research into sustainable aquaculture and nutrition and discover how such projects are developing solutions relating to economics, health and the environment.
George Lyon MEP said: “It was great to have the opportunity to meet with staff and students at Stirling and see the work that they have been doing on sea lice.
“Aquaculture is a critical industry for Scotland and sea lice cost the sector a huge amount of money every year.
“Scientific research has a key role to play in helping us protect fish farms from lice and the results that the University of Stirling has already achieved are hugely encouraging.”
He added: “In Scotland we are lucky to have some of the finest universities in the world and their work makes a big difference outside the laboratory. Research like the work being done at the University of Stirling is helping us build a stronger economy and generate the jobs that we need.”
The Institute of Aquaculture is the leading international centre in its field and is the largest of its kind in the world. It works with people, organisations and governments all over the globe - to carry out research into strategies for sustainable aquaculture, whether in modern commercial markets or in developing countries. More about the Institute of Aquaculture here