Stirling shines spotlight on salmon

THE development of sea lice and AGD vaccines, unlocking the potential of triploids, and discovering alternative feed ingredients were among the highlights of the Stirling Salmon Science Symposium, organised by the Institute of Aquaculture (IoA) last Friday (August 12).
Fourteen scientists from the institute delivered talks on subjects related to salmon farming, with the overall aim of facilitating the interaction between the university and the industry, said Bret Glencross (pictured), IoA director of research and professor of nutrition.
As well as members of the institute’s teaching staff, many students were present at the talks, along with representatives from leading salmon companies, feed firms, the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation and the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre – nearly 100 in all.
‘We have mixed up the subjects so everyone listens to everything to get a broad overview of the whole industry,’ said Glencross, an Australian who has both an academic and commercial background, having worked for the feed company Ridley and for CSIRO (the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation).
Such is the range of current research into farmed salmon that the symposium could have been twice as long, said Glencross, who said a similar session will be held again next year. Several of the scientists will also be present at Aquaculture Europe 2016, the European Aquaculture Society’s conference in Edinburgh from September 20-23.
Among Friday’s presentations, Sandra Adams gave an overview of fish vaccine progress, while Sophie Fridman discussed more specifically the development of vaccines for amoebic gill disease.
John Taylor presented his findings into triploid salmon potential, and Ben Clokie spoke about his work with light and how it influences growth and smoltification.
Douglas Tocher and Monica Betancor both discussed the prospects of genetically modified omega 3 supplies as the industry looks to further reduce its use of fishmeal and fish oil in aqua feeds.
Armin Sturm addressed the subject of drug resistance in sea lice and reminded the audience that it had been 15 years since the last new anti-sea lice product was introduced – ‘we really should try to get some new drugs’.
A full report of the Stirling Salmon Science Symposium will appear in the September issue of Fish Farmer.