6 million Research Boost for UK Aquaculture

3 October 2014, at 1:00am

UK - BBSRC is building capacity in aquaculture research as UK farmed fish and shellfish become a growing component of food supplies. 6 million worth of funding is now available to deliver bioscience and environmental science research projects that address key priorities in aquaculture.

Globally, one billion people depend on aquaculture as a primary source of dietary protein. The capture of wild fish is diminishing and farmed fish is now the most rapidly expanding part of the livestock sector.

Aquaculture requires little energy input to produce and generates low levels of greenhouse gas emissions. In the UK farmed fish and shellfish are a growing component of food supplies, and the government recommend twice-weekly fish consumption as part of a healthy and nutritious diet.

Professor Jackie Hunter, BBSRC Chief Executive, said: "Aquaculture is a vital part of future food security and we must fund research now to ensure sustainable sources of nutritious food in the years to come. Aquaculture can also support the UK economy – the value of the industry in the UK is £600 million per year and growing."

Successful and sustainable development of aquaculture, including the farming of new species, managing pests and diseases and meeting other challenges, requires strong underpinning fundamental bioscience. BBSRC has recognised the importance of the area and has developed a position statement to promote its interests and activities in the area of aquaculture.

In addition, researchers can apply for funding via a joint BBSRC-NERC initiative to fund multidisciplinary research projects in sustainable aquaculture: health, disease, and the environment.

Visit the Joint BBSRC-NERC call for multidisciplinary proposals in sustainable aquaculture: health, disease, and the environment page.

BBSRC and NERC will contribute £2.5 million each with other partners (CEFAS, Marine Scotland and AFBI) bringing the total fund to £6 million. This is the first time these funders have worked together in this area, providing a coordinated approach to UK aquaculture.