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Scottish aquaculture goes international

Scottish aquaculture goes international

7 Oct 2016

A new £1.7m mussel hatchery is being piloted thanks to an Innovation Centre’s links to New Zealand. 

The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) has signed a Letter of Intent with New Zealand’s largest independent science organisation, the Cawthron Institute, to explore research projects that could lead to higher productivity in the shellfish industry.

SAIC first connected with the renowned Cawthron Institute and its pioneering commercial mussel hatchery in 2015 and now a £1.7m multi-partner hatchery is being piloted at the NAFC Marine Centre at the University of Highlands and Islands.

Heather Jones, SAIC chief executive, said: “Supporting new shellfish production systems is one of SAIC’s four priority innovation areas; areas identified by the Scottish aquaculture industry as being key to the sustainable growth of the sector. This new, more formal relationship with the Cawthron Institute will enable us to pool our combined knowledge of the challenges of selective breeding for mussels and oysters, amongst other issues, to make more advances, faster.”

Professor Charles Eason, Cawthron Chief Executive, said: “Scotland has a great deal of expertise in the areas of fish health and welfare, genetics and biosecurity. This Letter of Intent represents an important connection, enabling us to identify areas of mutual interest... New Zealand likes to think of itself as a world leader in key areas of aquaculture. So too does Scotland. However, to truly maximise that leading edge and grow into the future we need to connect with one another and work together wherever we can.”