Projects selected for the funding round will explore new methods for sea lice control, managing gill health and environmental impact modelling, among other areas.
In a press release, SAIC (the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre) has announced funding for eight new innovation projects that will support the aquaculture sector in Scotland and beyond.
The projects represent a total combined investment of more than GBP 2.2 million from industry, academia and SAIC, including a package of more than GBP 0.9 million from the innovation centre. The collaborative research and development initiatives will focus on a number of areas key to the sector’s growth, ranging from enhancing fish health and welfare to environmental monitoring.
Scotland’s aquaculture sector is working to sustainably double its economic contribution from GBP 1.8 billion in 2016 to GBP 3.6 billion by 2030 – an aim outlined in its Aquaculture Growth to 2030 strategy.
Projects selected for the funding round will explore new methods for sea lice control, managing gill health and environmental impact modelling, among other areas. They concentrate on a variety of species to reflect the diverse make-up of the sector, including salmon, trout, and wrasse. A shellfish project is also on the cards.
The newly funded projects are expected to commence in 2021 and will last between five months and three years.
SAIC CEO Heather Jones said that the aquaculture sector is “well placed to help meet the growing demand for high-quality protein, and innovation continues to play a crucial role in expanding the sector’s capacity and unlocking new opportunities”.
She added that Scotland can be at “the forefront of new initiatives and developments in technology that will help the sector to grow sustainably”.
“Finding answers to some of the sector’s most pressing challenges has seldom been more important, particularly in the wake of Covid-19,” added Jones.