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Stirling's Aquaculture Expert Celebrated for Career

UK - Professor Randolph Harvey Richards CBE (on left of picture), Director of the Institute of Aquaculture at the University of Stirling, recently travelled to the Faroe Islands to receive the prestigious award for Excellence in European Aquaculture.

Given by the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP), it recognises the person who has excelled in his or her contribution to the development of European Aquaculture.

It is one of many well deserved accolades which Professor Richards has received over the last thirty years. During that time he has played a major role in the emerging aquaculture industry in Scotland, greatly benefiting our economy in the process. In 2008, he received the CBE; an award which reflects and pays tribute to outstanding achievement and service, right across the community and the nation as a whole.

Speaking of the changes in the aquaculture industry during the last thirty years, he said: “It has been very rewarding to be involved in the groundbreaking developments which have taken place in Scotland and indeed worldwide, which have led to the establishment of a sustainable and efficient aquaculture industry.

“Production from traditional fisheries is at its limit and Aquaculture has filled the gap in providing healthy seafood products which are so essential to human health. The Institute of Aquaculture at the University of Stirling has played a lead role in this development and it is very rewarding to have been recognised in this way by FEAP.”

As a leading fish disease specialist, Professor Richards has co-ordinated large EU research programmes on fish diseases. For eight years he was a member of the UK’s Veterinary Products Committee, which licenses all animal medicines and oversaw the development of medicines which helped control the potentially devastating problem of sea lice infestation.

The development of other important vaccines used in the control of bacterial and viral diseases and the research required for product licensing was carried out by Professor Richards and his colleagues.

He has also been a regular advisor to international bodies such as FAO, the EU and Lloyds of London, his expertise being sought on aquaculture in Turkey, Thailand, Ceylon, Greece, Sweden and many other countries.

Raised in North Wales, Professor Richards presently lives in Alloa. He is a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, the Royal Agriculture Societies and the Institute of Biology and is a Director of the Moredun Research Institute at Edinburgh.

He joined the Instituteof Aquaculture in 1973 as a Nuffield Research Fellow, becoming Director of The Institute in August 1996. He is due to demit office as Director at the end of June so as to be able to concentrate on research and industry development.

Of his time spent heading up the University’s internationally acclaimed Institute of Aquaculture, Professor Richards said: “I have indeed been fortunate to be leading the Institute at such an exciting time in its development. Our involvement in European and International development has been bolstered by significant investment from the University, which has allowed us to maintain our position at the forefront of scientific research through the provision and application of the latest technologies.

“Our success has been the result of a team effort from a group of dedicated and hardworking staff and an extensive network of collaborating researchers.”

the Fish Site Editor

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