Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove MP, had the opportunity to see first-hand how University of Stirling research is positioning the UK at the forefront of the global aquaculture industry, during a visit to the University’s Institute of Aquaculture on Friday 2 February.
Aquaculture is a key growth sector both in Scotland and internationally. With global populations increasing and climate change presenting new challenges to the production and distribution of food, innovative and transformational techniques are needed in order to farm the best fish in the healthiest and most efficient ways.
The University of Stirling has more than 40 years of partnership and collaboration experience with the aquaculture industry, pioneering the development of scientific techniques, technologies and expertise to support the sustainable production of food in aquatic environments.
During his visit Mr Gove heard how University of Stirling researchers are driving productivity within the sector, including through the development of innovative vaccines to combat diseases, and by working with suppliers to help them produce the most nutritious fish food.
Proposals to develop the Institute, as part of the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Deal, will build on existing excellence in research and collaboration to deliver a step change in driving productivity in one of Scotland’s most important sectors.
Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “Aquaculture is exceptionally important to the UK economy and to the world in terms of food security. Given the contribution it makes, facilities like the Institute of Aquaculture, which take the academic expertise and commercialise it for implementation in the field are of huge importance. It was fascinating to see first-hand how the centre harnesses the latest science and technologies to drive innovation in this exciting industry.”
Professor Malcolm MacLeod, Senior Deputy Principal at the University of Stirling said: “We know that there are challenges ahead in terms of feeding the world’s population, made more complex by the need to do this in a way which is environmentally sustainable and cost effective. Researchers at the University of Stirling are working in partnership with industry to pioneer new solutions, and having a truly transformative impact across the world.”
Stephen Kerr, Member of Parliament for Stirling, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to show off what we have to offer to the Secretary of State. Aquaculture is important to Stirling and the Stirling City Deal reflects the hopes we have for the future in this field. The jobs and innovation that will come from this investment will have benefits for people throughout Stirling and I am always thrilled to show people round these facilities.”