Farmed seafood is set to be the salvation for Scotland‘s fisheries, including endangered cod.

That’s the key message of the Scotland‘s premier aquaculture conference, set to take place in Edinburgh in April. 

The aquaculture industry in the Highlands and Islands in particular is set for a boom time according to aquaculture specialist Dr Malcolm Dickson. 

 Dr Dickson, the aquaculture editor for leading professional magazines Fish Farmer and Fish Farming Today, said: “The development of new farming systems to cultivate a wider range of fish and shellfish species, combined with the continued expansion of markets for seafood products is leading to a new phase of rapid expansion in the aquaculture sector”.

 He added: “World aquaculture production will exceed wild fisheries production (seafood caught by fishermen) by 2020, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation. Scotland‘s aquaculture industry will play a part in this expansion, bringing increased job creation and sustainable economic benefits to communities throughout the Highlands and Islands.  Aquaculture is a fast moving industry and Scotland is perfectly poised to take the lead on the European stage.”

 The inaugural Aquaculture Today conference (13 – 14 April 2005), the only conference serving all sectors in the aquaculture industry, will bring together fish farming experts from across Europe to chart a course towards a bright future for the industry.

 “A six fold increase in UK farmed cod production is predicted in the coming year,” continues Malcolm Dickson, the technical co-ordinator for the conference.  “European production is predicted to rise to 25 000 tonnes by 2008 and according to recent research carried out by the Scottish Executive, production from the shell fish farming sector could be increased 100 fold with no detrimental environmental effects.”

The marketing of farmed seafood will be a key topic for the two day conference.  Domestic and export markets for seafood have been boosted by the year round availability of farmed produce.  Research shows that

* Omega-3 fatty acids in fish reduce coronary heart disease

* Fish oils improve infant development and are shown to relieve some of the symptoms of ME or arthritis

* A regular diet of oily fish such as salmon or mackerel may reduce symptoms of asthma.

“Fish is very, very good for us,” continues Dr Dickson. “Research study after research study demonstrates than we should all eat more seafood and this presents an enormous opportunity for the Scottish aquaculture industry.  This conference will bring together experts and practitioners from across the UK to explore the key issues affecting aquaculture businesses including the regulatory environment for aquaculture, environmental responsibilities, aquatic animal health and aquaculture markets.  Aquaculture Today 2005 is a pioneering event which will provide delegates with an opportunity to hear from key industry presenters and will provide a constructive and sociable forum for discussion, culminating in clear resolutions for the future.”

 

The Aquaculture Today Conference takes place on 13 and 14 April 2005 at The Marriott Hotel in Edinburgh.  Further information about the conference can be found at www.aquaculturetoday.co.uk <http://www.aquaculturetoday.co.uk/>  or by calling 0845 241 3444.

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