Wrasse project wins enterprise award

A CLEANER fish research project has won an Innovative Collaboration Award at the Scottish Enterprise Life Science Awards 2016.

The collaboration, led by Professor Hervé Migaud of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture and including Marine Harvest Scotland, Scottish Sea Farms, and feed manufacturer BioMar, was launched by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) in June last year.

The 42-month project is developing the sustainable farming and deployment of wrasse, a cleaner fish used on salmon farms to control sea lice.

SAIC awarded grant funding of £831,530 to the project, leveraging contributions worth £3.01 million from industry and academia.

The Life Science Awards recognise the leading organisations, individuals and projects in the Scottish life sciences sector, which employs some 35,000 people and contributes more than £3.5 billion a year to the Scottish economy.

Migaud, director of research at the Institute of Aquaculture, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to win this prestigious award and have thoroughly enjoyed working with industry to bring this project to life.

‘Working collaboratively, the project is helping solve the bottlenecks limiting productivity and improves the quality and delousing efficacy of farmed wrasse.

‘Knowledge gained from the project has helped fish farmers receive a beginning-to-end guide on the breeding and husbandry of farmed wrasse.

‘The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre’s support and funding has enabled us to extend this project from proof of concept to the commercial environment.

‘The impact of the research is proving to be considerable in both scientific and economic terms.

Heather Jones, CEO of the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, said: ‘The strength and expertise in Scotland’s life sciences sector is outstanding, so winning this award is huge.

‘And given that ‘innovation’ and ‘collaboration’ are probably the two words we most use at SAIC, we’re delighted that the award won was the Innovative Collaboration Award.

‘But even more important than winning awards are the long-term impacts this project could achieve, including increased productivity on Scottish salmon farms and reduced use of medicines for sea lice control.

‘These will deliver strong economic benefits for the Scottish salmon industry and Scotland.’

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