Even more at Aviemore

Mairi Gougeon MSP at Aquaculture UK 2022

This year’s edition of the UK’s leading aquaculture trade show promises to be bigger and better than ever

This May will see the return of Aquaculture UK, which is once more being held in Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands.

With huge interest being demonstrated by exhibitors and registrants, this show looks set to retain its position as the UK’s leading aquaculture gathering.

On Tuesday 14 May, Scotland’s Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon (pictured above at Aquaculture UK 2022) will open the show and will head an exciting line-up of speakers.

Cheri Arvonio

Cheri Arvonio

Cheri Arvonio, Event Director at show organiser Diversified Communications, said: “We look forward to welcoming a wide range of aquaculture experts over the two days.

“With Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands Mairi Gougeon opening the conference, we expect full houses to hear about all the developments in the sector since we last met here two years ago.”

Arvonio added that this year’s show is set to feature more exhibitors than ever, with 230 signed up from 20 countries.

Inside space had already sold out before the end of March.

There will be three new national pavilions this year, with Ireland, Canada and Chile represented for the first time at Aquaculture UK.

New this year is the Innovation Theatre, which will feature more, but shorter, presentations compared with the Keynote Theatre.

The Keynote Theatre programme, now published, runs alongside the two-day exhibition on 14 and 15 May and is free to attend. Gougeon will update delegates on progress in regulatory reform following Professor Russel Griggs’ independent review of aquaculture consenting, published two years ago.

And she will outline ongoing work to support innovation in the sector as part of the Scottish Government’s ambitions for the industry, as highlighted in the Vision for Sustainable Aquaculture to 2045.

The minister will also address a Women in Scottish Aquaculture networking session, which will focus on professional training and improving communication skills.

Kevin Quillien

Kevin Quillien

Other conference keynote speakers include Kevin Quillien of Glasgow-based space tech firm Krucial who, along with risk management consultant and aquaculture veteran Jason Scott, will explore how digitisation can help mitigate the risks of fish farming.

Kimberley McKinnell  

Kimberley McKinnell

And US data experts Scoot Science will lead a panel of farm and health managers from Scotland and Canada, including Scottish Sea Farms’ Innes Weir and Bakkafrost Scotland’s Kimberley McKinnell, to discuss new environmental challenges and how tech can improve fish survival.

The Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and will mark the milestone with presentations from project partners covering a decade of impactful research and development. There will also be an update on how SAIC, under new funding arrangements, will continue to drive research to meet key sector problems.

From Chile, innovative enterprises – from nano bubble pioneers to biotechnology frontrunners – will examine technology trends in Chilean aquaculture, with representatives of cutting-edge suppliers both at the conference and exhibiting in the Chile pavilion.

Canadian expertise has its own platform, with the return to this year’s conference of the Center for Aquaculture Technologies (CAT), delving into the possibilities that gene editing (GE) brings to improved productivity and environmental sustainability in aquaculture.

Alan Tinch

Alan Tinch

CAT speakers Alan Tinch and Alejandro Gutiérrez will focus on the development of resilient species, and will also look at the current regulatory landscape for GE in aquaculture, particularly in the UK and Europe.

The adoption of alternative feed ingredients by salmon farmers is a hot topic sector-wide and will be in Aviemore too, when Ian Carr, Global Business Development Director of algal oil innovator Veramaris, chairs a panel of novel feed advocates and asks: “What will it take to drive the use of alternative ingredients in Scotland?”

And some of the most familiar challenges in land-based aquaculture will be tackled by Xylem Water Solutions engineer Asbjørn Husby and Business Development Director Ronny Haugland, who are spearheading advances in semi-closed and closed containment, RAS and optimal energy consumption.

Aquaculture UK 2022

Aquaculture UK 2022

Awards events
Aquaculture UK also provides an opportunity to recognise excellence within the sector. On Tuesday evening, industry body Salmon Scotland will announce the winner of the Early Career Innovators Competition from Young Aquaculture Society (YAS), held in collaboration with the University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture and Diversified Communications.

The initiative comes less than six months after YAS was founded by Salmon Scotland’s Technical and Standards Manager Andrew Richardson, who is president of the society.

He said: “Early career professionals entering the field inherently bring fresh perspectives, making them well-positioned to generate impactful ideas.

“It’s exciting for us to introduce such a prize at this early stage of our organisation’s journey. We are grateful to the Institute of Aquaculture and Aquaculture UK for sharing our mission.”

On Wednesday night, 15 May, the Aquaculture Awards will be presented at a gala dinner to be held at the Macdonald Resort, Aviemore. This year, the awards include 13 separate categories and this year saw a high number of entries.

Awards will be announced for:

• Rising Star
• Collaboration
• Innovation
• Sustainability
• Community Initiative
• Farmer of the Year
• Animal Welfare
• Aquaculture Supplier of the Year
• Best New Start-Up
• Unsung Hero
• Producer of the Year

There will also be a Judges’ Special Recognition award, to be announced on the night, and an award for Outstanding Contribution, which will be based on votes cast by those in the industry.

Aquaculture UK, which is free to attend, will be held at the Macdonald Resort in Aviemore, Scotland, on 14 and 15 May 2024. Show opening times are 14 May, 9:30am to 6pm (including social event) and 15 May from 9:30am to 4pm. For the full conference programme, visit aquacultureuk.com




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