Aquaculture awards 2020 officially open

The awards ceremony in Aviemore in 2018

NOMINATIONS opened today for the 2020 Aquaculture Awards, which will be held during the biennial Aquaculture UK exhibition in Aviemore in May.

The awards are open to entrants from across the world, with a deadline for applications of March 9, 2020.

There are 14 categories, with a few changes since the last awards, which were held in Edinburgh in May this year.

Brand new prizes include ‘unsung hero’, dedicated to industry stalwarts, and \’collaboration\’, open to companies and academic institutions.

Nigel Balmforth, head of publishing at 5m, which runs the awards, said: ‘The 2019 awards generated widespread interest, attracting 78 entries from 16 countries.

‘They also brought an international audience from across the aquaculture spectrum to the awards presentation ceremony in Scotland, helping to promote best practice in the industry.’

Event organiser Susan Tinch added: ‘The 2020 awards categories have been chosen to highlight excellence across the sector, from the contribution of individuals just starting in the industry, to the impact made by established multi-nationals which have an ability to improve food security around the world.

Following industry feedback, they will include four new categories.’

‘We’re currently inviting forward thinking companies to sponsor the categories and have several category sponsorships still up for grabs.’

A six-person panel of judges – to be announced shortly – will select a shortlist, with the winners announced at a ceremony in Aviemore on May 20.

The categories are:

Best aquaculture company

(Sponsored by Crown Estates)

Awarded to the aquaculture company with the most impressive economic, ethical and environmental performance across the board.

Finfish farmer of the year

Awarded to the hands-on farmer – be they technician or manager – who has made a positive impact on their farm site, company and fish.

Shellfish farmer of the year

Awarded to a hands-on shellfish farmer who has made a positive impact on their site, company and shellfish.

Outstanding contribution to the industry

(Sponsored by Marine Scotland)

Awarded to the individual or company that has enhanced how the wider public perceive the industry or have made an outstanding contribution to the sector through their work.

Environmental impact award

(Sponsored by EWOS)

Will recognise an initiative that has contributed significantly to the environmental sustainability of the business.

Aquaculture supplier of the year

Awarded to the sector’s best purveyor of quality of products, services, technical advice and R&D.

Community initiative

Recognises programmes that have enhanced the industry’s relationship with their host communities.

Economic sustainability

Awarded to an initiative that has improved financial performance, created jobs, improved worker welfare, or enhanced company efficiency.

Animal Welfare

(Sponsored by MSD)

Will focus on initiatives that have improved the welfare of farmed fish and/or the wildlife they interact with.


(Sponsored by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre)

Recognising ground-breaking initiatives that have improved production performance, animal welfare, processing, health and safety, sustainability or product development.

Rising star

Open to dynamic under-35s who have the potential to become leaders in the sector.

People’s choice

Delegates at Aquaculture UK and readers of the Fish Site (owned by awards organiser 5m) will be able to vote for any company or individual making the shortlist of any of the other award categories.

Unsung hero

A new category dedicated to the stalwarts of the sector who’ve shunned the limelight but have put in no shortage valuable hard work.


Another new category, recognising those companies and/or academic institutions who have opted to eschew competition in favour of the good of the sector as a whole.


To find out more about each of the categories and to enter or nominate visit


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