Stirling experts land funding to tackle aquaculture challenges

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Aquaculture experts at the University of Stirling have secured a share of a £4.6 million fund that will bring academia and industry together to tackle key challenges in the sector.

Institute of Aquaculture scientists will work with industry partners on three of the ten projects funded by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) investment.

The Sustainable Aquaculture Partnerships for Innovation fund is designed to address specific challenges facing British aquaculture, including disease prevention and animal welfare.

All funded projects include at least one partner from industry who will contribute at least 10% cash or in-kind to the full economic cost of the two-year project.

Professor Simon MacKenzie, Head of the Institute of Aquaculture at the University of Stirling, will lead a project aimed at improving gill health in Atlantic salmon, a partnership with PatoGen and Bakkafrost.

Research Fellow Dr Adam Brooker will lead a team working with Bakkafrost and Garrett Brothers to improve fish welfare in salmon aquaculture using on-demand, electric-powered aeration.

Associate Professor Dr Monica Betancort will head up a project to research the use of camelina omega-3 oil for optimal heart and gill health, in partnership with Biomar. Speaking at the Aquaculture UK conference in Aviemore, Dr Betancort said: “I would like to thank BBSRC for giving me the opportunity to pursue this very exciting project.”

Dr Lee Beniston, Associate Director of Industry Partnerships and Collaborative R&D at BBSRC, said: “Advances in aquaculture technology and innovative approaches have enormous potential to provide the UK, and the world, with a more sustainable, diverse, and healthy source of nutrition. This will support ambitions in areas such as food security through to the health of the nation.

“We are pleased to be investing, alongside businesses, in these exciting research and innovation projects which will catalyse and drive innovation across the aquaculture industry.”

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