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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. </b> <br><br> Around 300 delegates attended the Open Ocean Aquaculture session of AQUA 2006, held in Florence, Italy last week. The topic was just one of many up for discussion at the four-day conference and trade show, which was held by the World Aquaculture Society and European Aquaculture Society. <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. <br><br> Dr Langan described the main challenges the project has overcome - including transfer issues, the need for innovative technology and the extreme weather conditions. 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: FishFarmer</i>

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