Aquaculture wins £5.1m research funding

FISH vaccines made from algae are one of 12 projects receiving a total of £5.1 million to fund aquaculture research.
Other projects, announced this week, include studying genetics and breeding patterns, looking at how shellfish can be more sustainable, immunising trout against kidney disease, and examining how robust salmon are and how susceptible to disease they are at sea.
The UK Aquaculture Initiative is a joint Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and NERC project to support high quality, innovative research and address strategic challenges facing UK aquaculture.
The investment comes with contributions from co-funders the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and the Centre for Environments, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), and a range of industry partners who will collaborate with academic researchers.
Karen Lewis, BBSRC executive director of Capability and Innovation, said: ‘Aquaculture is a key food production sector for the UK. These projects will improve our understanding of the challenges facing aquaculture production.
‘Working together with industry partners, UK researchers will help to address these challenges and contribute to developing a healthy, safe and sustainable aquaculture system which will deliver societal and economic benefit for the UK.’
The 12 projects are:
• AquaLeap: Innovation in genetics and breeding to advance UK aquaculture production
(Ross Houston, University of Edinburgh);
• Safe and sustainable shellfish: Introducing local testing and management solutions
(Christine Edwards, the Robert Gordon University);
• ROBUST-SMOLT: Impact of early life history in freshwater recirculation aquaculture systems on Atlantic salmon robustness and susceptibility to disease at sea
(Herve Migaud, University of Stirling);
• Evaluating the environmental conditions required for the development of offshore aquaculture
(Keith Davidson, Scottish Association For Marine Science);
• Passive and active immunisation against novel vaccine targets to protect trout against proliferative kidney disease (PKD)
(Chris Secombes, University of Aberdeen);
• Binder seeding to improve the economic case of UK macroalgal cultivation (Bindweed)
(Adam Hughes, Scottish Association For Marine Science);
• Paper-based platform for on site, rapid, and multiplexed DNA-based pathogen detection in aquaculture
(Julien Reboud, University of Glasgow);
• PhytoMOPS: Phytoplankton morphology and optical properties sensor
(Allison Schaap, National Oceanography Centre);
• The development of diagnostic techniques to assess anaemia in aquaculture reared Atlantic salmon
(Brian Quinn, University of the West of Scotland);
• Algal vaccines for aquaculture
(Brenda Parker, University College London);
• Identifying targets for control of Ichthyophthirius multifiliis – a major cause of disease in aquaculture
(Mark van der Giezen, University of Exeter);
• NOSy – Magnetic and wireless sensor technology for improving profit, biosecurity and carbon footprint of regional oyster production
(Thomas Cameron, University of Essex).
Picture: Herve Migaud, Institute of Aquaculture, one of the project leaders