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MGSA Science & Research Working Group - Aquaculture Science & Research Strategy

MGSA Science & Research Working Group - Aquaculture Science & Research Strategy

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

ISBN: 9781784126636

MGSA S&RWG was tasked to produce a comprehensive research strategy prioritised on respective contribution to informing the sustainable growth of the Scottish aquaculture industry and potential impacts of the 2020 sustainable production targets as detailed in the draft Scottish Marine Plan. It also identifies key strategic research requirements, which may be applicable in a broader scientific context and over longer timescales.

Executive Summary

The document was developed by The Ministerial Group for Sustainable Aquaculture’s Science and Research Working Group (S&RWG) and based on a combination of review and analysis of historic research, expert opinion and subject to a broad range of stakeholder scrutiny. It highlights some of the cogent research required to help underpin the Scottish aquaculture industry’s 2020 sustainable production targets, as well as identifying a range of science and research which could contribute to the future sustainability of the aquaculture in Scotland and internationally.

Small Task Groups of relevant experts identified potential research requirements on: Nutrition; Stock improvement; Health & welfare; Food safety & hygiene; Technology and engineering; Wild-farmed Interactions; Markets, economics & social science; Capacity; and Blue biotechnology.

Key overarching Research Priorities are identified, assessed on the respective contribution to informing the sustainable economic growth of the Scottish aquaculture industry and the potential impacts of the 2020 production targets as detailed in the draft Scottish Marine Plan in 2013:

• Understanding and managing interactions with wild salmonids particularly with respect to sea lice including: Greater understanding of sea lice dynamics; The dispersal patterns of sea trout and salmon and subsequent distribution in relation to the Scottish Coast; The effects of sea lice at a population level on wild salmonids.

• The effective control of sea lice on salmon farms including: Between farm transmission mechanisms; Within Farm management practices; Health and welfare of cleaner fish; Non-chemical treatment of sea lice; Selective Breeding (focusing on resistance to sea lice).

• Replacing scarce, marine-sourced components of aquaculture feeds with sustainable, alternative ingredients that will not adversely affect stock health and welfare or product quality.

• Food safety and hygiene for the shellfish sector, specifically: Norovirus detection and management; Detection, quantification and management of algal biotoxins in shellfish production.

• Identifying additional areas to increase production capacity through: Integration of aquaculture into marine spatial plans which identify areas for increased capacity; Improved estimates of assimilative and biological carrying capacity for fish and shellfish farms in inshore and offshore marine ecosystems.