Up to 90K on offer for aqua research projects

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
8 August 2007, at 1:00am

UK - The Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum (SARF) is requesting proposals for six research and development projects.

SARF, an independent company that support research into aquaculture and related areas, has a range of members including representatives from the aquaculture industry, government organisations, wild fish groups and environmental NGO's. It supports a broad range of research areas that relate to industry challenges such as environmentt, social impact and commercial improvement.

Its key objectives are to: promote, encourage and support scientific research and development in aquaculture and enhance the publics understanding of the industry through the dissemination of research findings and factual information.

The current call for proposals are for projects in the following areas:
  • Project Area 1 - Evaluation of risks of transmission and possible treatments to minimise the risk of transfer of parasites, infectious disease and pest species, such as Signal Crayfish, between freshwater aquaculture sites and also freshwater fisheries through treatments to water used in the transport of live rainbow and brown trout. The aim is to produce a best practice guide.

  • Project Area 2 - Assessment of the potential to reduce the infaunal species list required to give an indication of stress in sediments. SEPA wants operators to submit environmental surveys of the sea bed from beneath fish cages. Results of a recent Data Review Project indicate that there may be potential to develop a reduced species list that might be robust enough to give an indication of stress levels. If such a list could be developed then it may enable analysis of benthic faunal samples to be speeded up, less costly and more realistic. SARF is seeking further statistical assessment of the SEPA data set to determine whether a reduced species list can be achieved.

  • Project Area 3 - Improved understanding of species specific requirements for marine finfish cultivation. There is a general requirement to minimise the environmental impact due to feed and the inter-fish competition for feed on marine cage farms, This project aims to design species-specific feed regimes based upon better feed delivery systems and monitoring, and to evaluate environmental/ site parameters.

  • Project Area 4 - Effectiveness of Acoustic Deterrent Devices (ADDs) as a method of predator control. Investigations are needed to assess the impacts of the current ADDs available on cetacean distribution and behaviour. Recent research in Scotland is limited and contradictory and the effectiveness of ADDs as a predator control method needs to be clarified. Field work in this area will help to evaluate and minimising the impacts of thes devices on protected species and provide evidence of ADD efficacy. This work, should also help to develop recommendations of best practice when using these deterents.

  • Project Area 5 - Assessment of evidence that fish farming impacts on tourism. The fish farming sector wants to find out if aquaculture has an impact on tourism in Scotland and, if so, to what degree both socially and economically.

  • Project Area 6 - Socio-economic assessment of potential impacts of new/amended conservation legislation on the cultivation of fish and shellfish species of current commercial importance. The industry requires an independent assessment of the potential impact that possible new legislation, such as the creation of National Parks and Nationally Important Marine Areas, may have on Scottish aquaculture.

The grants available for this round of research projects are between £15 and £90K. Project terms are from four months to three years.

The deadline for submission of applications is 2nd October 2007.

For further information, please click here

Any inquiries should be directed to: Dr Mark James, Secretariat of SARF,, +44(0)1350 727484.