SCOTLAND’S aquaculture sector is to invest £2 million to further explore tools and techniques to improve fish health, it was announced today.
The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) confirmed funding for five new innovation projects which, with combined investment from industry and academia, will help deliver the Scottish government’s 10-year Farmed Fish Health Framework.
Initiatives selected for funding include using novel technologies for sea lice control, finding quicker ways to diagnose disease, and looking at methods for minimising the risks from natural causes that lead to mortality in farmed fish at sea.
Supporting SAIC’s commitment of more than £743,000, some 55 per cent of the £2 million total project funding comes from industry and nine per cent from academia.
Projects range from 12 to 24 months in duration and underpin the innovation centre’s commitment to encouraging collaboration and driving innovation, said SAIC.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: ‘Government and industry in Scotland are working to improve farmed fish health in Scotland, and ensure the sustainable growth of Scotland’s most valuable food export.
‘Innovation projects like these are vital to those ambitions, making the industry more streamlined, improving the environment and fish health, and helping to create and support jobs.
‘It’s great to see projects like this, which directly align with the ambitions of Scotland’s 10-year Farmed Fish Health Framework, receiving funding.’
Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC, added: ‘Committing to fund additional projects allows us to support collaboration between producers and academia.
‘The valuable research should help the industry to find ways to better control sea lice and mitigate disease and climate change risks in future. Fish health is a priority and critical to the future of aquaculture.’