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AQUA 2012: More R&D Needed to Stimulate Aquaculture Growth

3 September 2012, at 1:00am

CZECH REPUBLIC - Ragnar Tveteras from the University of Stavanger has looked at the role of research and development in the growth of aquaculture and what the implications are for future growth, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor, live from AQUA 2012, Prague, Czech Republic.

Aquaculture needs innovation to help it grow. Big aquaculture companies in some ways are vital to the future of the industry as they often provide much of the research and innovations that help boost the industry and help the performance of smaller farms.

At present aquaculture is facing problems in terms of raw feed material availability and environmental challenges. Data shows that aquaculture is now growing at a slower rate.

Mr Tveteras highlighted that the slow growth may be down to economic recession, but also due to a lack of innovation, as research development intensity has decreased.

In terms of salmon aquaculture, more R&D is needed in reducing the cost of production in order to help the industry maintain profits and grow.

Mr Tveteras noted that private funding for R&D is now higher than public funding, despite most of the research being undertaken in the public sector.

It was stated that more research needs to focus on disease prevention and treatment as this is one of the biggest causes of the stagnation of productivity growth.

More innovation is therefore required in all areas. If growth is to be sustained there needs to be more funding in R&D.

Governments and private companies both need to increase spending if advances are to be maintained.

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