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Aqua 2006 hears of key role for offshore aquaculture

UK - Offshore aquaculture is likely to play an important role in meeting the Food and Agriculture Organisation&#39;s targets for global seafood production, industry experts told a packed conference yesterday. </b> <br><br> Around 300 delegates attended the Open Ocean Aquaculture session of AQUA 2006, held in Florence, Italy. The topic is just one of many up for discussion at the four-day conference and trade show, which is being held by the World Aquaculture Society and European Aquaculture Society this week. <br><br> Arne Fredheim of SINEF Fisheries and Aquaculture told delegates that offshore aquaculture has a number of advantages over traditional methods of culture, including benefits to fish welfare, increased productivity and improved product quality. <br><br> He also said it could allay public concern regarding sustainability and welfare issues. Mr Fredheim added that a number of challenges must be addressed if offshore aquaculture is to be successful, adding that the optimal solution for offshore fish farming is yet to be found. <br><br> Dr Richard Langan of the University of New Hampshire outlined its Open Ocean Aquaculture project, which has farmed summer flounder, Atlantic halibut, Atlantic cod and haddock offshore. He said the university&#39;s researchers believe halibut and cod are the species most likely to thrive in these conditions. Dr Langan described the main challenges the project has overcome - including transfer issues, the need for innovative technology and the extreme weather conditions. <br><br> He concluded by saying that open offshore aquaculture will be a technology driven enterprise, adding that the industry may learn from models used by the oil and gas industry. <br><br> <i>Source: FishUpdate</i>

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