This reflects the growing importance of this industry in the marine environment and heralds opportunities for technology transfer.
Chaired by Dr Neil Auchterlonie as Programme Director Aquaculture and Food Security, Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, a role developing science and providing technical advice to Defra, and Professor Peter Davies of the Department of Civil Engineering, Dundee University with interests in fluid mechanics in relation to aquaculture systems, the aquaculture ‘panel discussion’ session takes place on Wednesday 12 March, and, like all the component parts of Oceanology International, is free to attend.
Looking forward to Oceanology International, the Co-Chairs said: “This is enormously exciting, and reflects aquaculture’s position as the fastest growing protein sector with an average annual growth rate of 6.9 per cent globally, according to the FAO. Other strategic initiatives for aquaculture development have been developed, or are developing, at the EU level, and within the UK, where the sector is well placed to support domestic food production and rural development agenda.
“This inaugural OI session will be focused on promoting collaboration between academia, aquaculture industry, and other marine industry, in areas where there are opportunities for technology transfer. As a relatively young industry, we see that there are likely to be some advances to be made in aquaculture through the adoption of some of the technology from other marine industry, rather than develop industry-specific solutions to some of the issues that are faced.
“We have specifically highlighted the subjects of remote sensing and the environment, engineering and operations, and modelling and planning as the most important areas to be investigated in relation to technology transfer in this first session. This presents opportunities not only for the aquaculture sector itself, but also for the marine industry that has the opportunity to enter into the new markets associated with aquaculture development.”
A Steering Committee of six technical and scientific experts has guided the subject areas of the OI 2014 Aquaculture session, in addition to Dr Auchterlonie and Professor Davies they are:
- Alex Adrian, Aquaculture Officer for The Crown Estate, reflecting TCE’s aquaculture business interests around the UK in relation to finfish, shellfish and macroalgae
- Dr Kenneth Black of the Scottish Association for Marine Science, a researcher in marine science with particular expertise on the environmental impact of aquaculture
- Dr Mark James of the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology in Scotland, covering strategic interests related to the commissioning of science and technical advice on aquaculture
- Prof Jimmy Turnbull of the Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, a veterinarian with expertise on health and welfare of farmed aquatic animals
The programme for the day is far ranging and includes a session covering the current status of the aquaculture industry, aspirations and challenges and includes the following presentations:
- Fish Farming: More than Just Salmon, Tom Pickerell, Seafish
- Aquaculture Risks - Constraints to Future Expansion, Dan Fairweather, Willis Aquaculture
- Scope & prospects for growth of UK aquaculture: A Crown Estate perspective, Alex Adrian, The Crown Estate
A series of short one hour sessions, including both presentations and discussion follows covering the areas of aquaculture in oceanic environments (including engineering, mooring, operations, and how these are carried out in harsh environments); automated activities and remote sensing (will include real-time data capture, video-imaging, health and welfare monitoring); the location of aquaculture operations with other marine industry (e.g. wind farms); and water treatment and processing (filtration in recirculation systems, wellboat technology and live transport). The full programme together with details on confirmed speakers from the UK and overseas is available on the OI 2014 website.
Further information on all aspects of Oceanology International, and free online registration, is at www.oceanologyinternational.com