Scottish aquaculture research gets £400,000 for projects under new scheme –

Scottish aquaculture research gets £400,000 for projects under new scheme Published:  21 December, 2004

THE Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum (SARF) has announced £400,000 worth of research grants which have been allocated as a result of the first targeted call for research proposals in September 2004.

A spokesman said: “A number of high calibre proposals were received and the successful applicants will be starting work early in the New Year. Five projects were selected with a total cost to SARF of almost £300,000, with an additional £120,000 being provided by Seafish, Defra and other sponsors.”

SARF was set up as one of the key priorities of the Scottish Executive’s Strategic Framework for Aquaculture. SARF is an independent body which was founded as a company and a registered charity in Spring 2004. Since that time the SARF Board, chaired by Professor William Ritchie of the University of Aberdeen, has developed the infrastructure and financial backing to begin the task of commissioning research and development projects that will help to underpin the sustainable future of the aquaculture industry in Scotland.

The priorities for the first round of funding have focused very much on environmental issues that have implications for all stakeholders. The projects supported include research into optimising the selection of sites for aquaculture, the potential consequences of amalgamating fish farms, improving the integration of data on fish farming through the novel use of Geographic Information Systems and, two projects which will focus on improving fish health.

As confidence in the company grows, the Directors hope to increase the SARF R&D budget. Building on the success of this year’s funding round SARF anticipates issuing further calls for proposals in 2005.

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