Aquaculture research to receive funding boost in 2024

INNOVATIVE aquaculture projects are set to benefit from funding for research into fish health and wellbeing initiatives in 2024.

With a combined total value of more than £860,000, the funded projects have secured over £300,000 from the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) with additional support being provided by commercial partners.

Research will kick off in early January, or before, with each of the seven successful projects targeting a summer completion date.

Included are projects focused on gill health in Atlantic salmon, parasite management, and managing or preventing disease through immunisation and vaccinations.

Aerial view of the coast by Appin with views over Shuna Island and Arnamurchan, Scotland

A number of the projects selected are extensions of previous research supported by SAIC, with teams applying for a funding boost to take concepts to the next stage.

The centre’s team of experts and Independent Scientific Panel assessed the applications, and all matched the criteria for its defined priorities around fish health and welfare.

Earlier this year, SAIC announced it had reached the milestone of 100 funded aquaculture innovation projects.

The combined value of the work to date has reached nearly £71 million and involved 92 project partners from academia and the sector.

Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC, said: “Continued improvements in finfish health will underpin the sector’s sustainable future, make a big difference to the survivability and wellbeing of fish, and help seafood producers to provide a nutritious protein source that will feed generations to come.

“We are pleased to be supporting further collaboration that could see a range of research concepts translated into a commercial reality.

“Scotland has a great deal of expertise and experience in aquaculture and in connecting those with our world-class research institutions, we can make positive changes to ways of work.”