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Seminar Looks at the State of the Industry

UK - The state of the UK aquaculture industry will be the central theme of a two day seminar at the Aquaculture UK 2008 exhibition new week, in Aviemore Scotland.

There will be in three sessions, which will run from 10.30am each day to 4pm each day from 21-22 May.

The first session will look at old species, new ideas with presentations on, new approaches to old problems and species. Jimmy Hepburn will be talking on his pioneering organic carp venture and other speakers will discuss new ways with shellfish.

The second session will discuss challenges and opportunities examining the implications of rising commodity markets for aquaculture will be explored by leading speakers from both sides of the supply chain.

Aquaculture consultant Richard Slaski will to look at a number of challenges including increased operating costs and the inability of small to medium sized enterprise companies to access finance.

Mr Slaski will tell the seminar: "We are working hard to overcome these challenges and turn them into opportunities. The Scottish Government has generally been very supportive of the industry by as much as the system allows.

"We should also not forget just how successful the UK aquaculture industry has been in global terms and we are now facing a future with growing demand for our products."

He will also point to recent successes such as the introduction of the independently inspected Code of Good Practice, new science emerging from the Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum and projects to field-test new high-strength fish cage netting.

Also speaking will be Dr Ian Davies of Fisheries Research Services, who will focus on new mussel species for Scotland and their potential impact on farming. Until recently it was assumed that the mussels found on the Scottish coast were the species Mytilus edulis.

However, it has now been recognised that there are two other closely related species – M. galloprovinciallis (a southern species that is moving north) and M. trossulus – a northern species, common in Canada and the Baltic.

Dr Davies will tell the seminar: "The three species interbreed and distinguishing them by visual inspection can be difficult. FRS has developed a molecular DNA method to detect all three species. We have found that both the southern and northern species are also now present on Scottish coasts. M. trossulus tends to have weak shells and poor meat yields and this can present difficulties to shellfish farmers."

The third all day session will examine fish welfare and advances in harvesting practice.

For this session the confirmed speakers are:

  • Dave Robb of Ewos Innovation
  • Peter Stevenson of Compassion in World Farming
  • Bob Waller of Freedom Food
  • Bruce Goodrich of Seafood Innovations Pty
  • Jeff Lines of Silsoe Livestock Systems Ltd
  • Sunil Kadri of Aqua-Innovation