Seafish – Aquaculture Common Issues Group


Thank you to all those who attended the Aquaculture Common Issues Group meeting at Friends House on Wednesday 14 September. All the presentations have now been added to the website  and the minutes will follow in due course. The next meeting will be in spring 2017.

Seafish Training Academy
Seafish and the Seafood Training Academy (STA) play a key leadership role in fish and shellfish training and development in the UK. Seafish offers a variety of tailored programmes equipping individuals and businesses with the skills, understanding and knowledge to prosper. A new STA prospectus is here

Humber Seafood Summit presentations are now available on the Seafish website here

Seafish publishes report detailing the value of aquaculture to England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 3 October 2016.
Seafish has published a report which analyses the economic contribution and value of the major aquaculture sub-sectors, and the most important farmed species in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The report was commissioned by the Seafish Domestic Aquaculture Strategy Programme which strives to identify key issues and opportunities to support the UK aquaculture industry. The contribution of aquaculture to the economies of England Wales and Northern Ireland is currently modest; total benefit to the economy as a whole is around £100 million in revenue and it creates some 1,700 full time jobs, although challenges in developing and growing English, Welsh and Northern Irish aquaculture remain. This report will complement existing reports in Scotland and contribute greatly to the understanding of UK aquaculture across a wide range of stakeholders. For further information E: Lee Cocker.

Several and Regulating Orders – Their Role in UK Shellfish Production. 7 September 2016.
Seafish has published a report which describes and explains the network of 24 UK Several, Regulating and Hybrid Orders, often referred to as ‘SROs’, in relation to domestic shellfish production. The report was commissioned by the Seafish Domestic Aquaculture Strategy Programme. The report describes and explains SROs by detailing their background and status, whilst highlighting their use and importance to individual shellfish producers and regulating bodies. SROs are special legislation to encourage the establishment and management of private and natural shellfisheries in UK coastal waters – granting exclusive rights over shellfish for a specified period in a designated area. SROs have a reputation of being complex and unwieldy, but the report asserts that SROs present opportunities to enhance UK shellfish production. They are a vital ‘tool in the toolbox’ to encourage increased production, particularly the farming of shellfish which has generally ‘stagnated’ in the UK over recent years. For further information E: Lee Cocker.


Further certainty on EU funding for hundreds of British projects. 3 October 2016.
Following his announcement in August, which guaranteed funds for projects signed up until the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor has now extended this guarantee to the point at which the UK departs the EU. The Chancellor confirmed that the government will guarantee EU funding for structural and investment fund projects, including agri-environment schemes, signed after the Autumn Statement and which continue after we have left the EU.


GGN.ORG new consumer portal for certified aquaculture. October 2016.
This new website includes farm profiles, news, information and interesting stories about aquaculture from around the globe. All aquaculture products with the GGN label are certified in accordance with the rules of GLOBALG.A.P aquaculture standards. GGN stands for a thirteen-figure identification number by which all certified participants in the production and supply chain can be recognised (popup: the abbreviation GGN stands for ‘GLOBALG.A.P. number’).

Reports/brochures/web sites/presentations

Is There a Place for GM in Aquaculture? 20 October 2016.
With no problems with sea lice, no risk of escape, minimal to no use of antibiotics and the same great taste and nutritional profile as other farmed Atlantic salmon, is the AquAdvantage® Salmon the perfect salmon?

The Grower. October 2016.

Seaweed in the UK and Abroad – Status, Products, Limitations, Gaps. 17 October 2016.
Global seaweed production has more than doubled between 2000 and 2014, from 10.5 to 28.4 million tonnes. The 2012 world production of seaweeds was estimated to be about US$6 billion (FAO, Food and Agriculture Organization, 2014); 95% of this production was from Asian aquaculture. In the UK, harvesting of wild seaweeds for food, feed and fertilizers has been carried out for centuries, however seaweed farming does not have a long history. Nevertheless, in recent years, there has been increasing interest in seaweed aquaculture, mainly driven by research into algal biofuel technologies.

European Commission promotes EU aquaculture at Edinburgh conference. 23 September 2016.
To promote sustainable European aquaculture the European Commission set up shop at the Aquaculture Europe 2016 conference in Edinburgh. The conference, organised by the European Aquaculture Society, brought together 1700 attendees, including researchers, national authorities, aquaculture producers and technology developers. The Commission used the opportunity to promote its Farmed in the EU campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the quality and sustainability of European aquaculture among European consumers, in particular schoolchildren.

Globefish report: Low production of shrimp in Southeast Asia, while ex-farm prices may move upwards. 14 September 2016.
During the first quarter of 2016, year-on-year shrimp imports increased to EU and east Asian markets but declined to the USA. Chinese traders have been active in Southeast Asia, buying directly from farms at strong prices. Meanwhile, raw material availability for export to traditional developed markets is low. The production forecast for farmed shrimp in Asia remains less promising for 2016 due to the ongoing disease problem in China and in some parts of Southeast Asia along with draught and a delayed monsoon in the region. Though Thailand expects strong production of 270,000 to 300,000 tonnes for 2016, increased regional demand, particularly from China, is taking away supplies previously channeled to traditional developed markets. Overall, China will likely to continue to influence the global market and prices if domestic production there does not improve. The market will also depend on the supply situation in India and Viet Nam, which currently does not have a promising forecast for the coming months.

Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey 2015. 12 September 2016.
Marine Scotland Science has published the Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey 2015. The publication details statistics on the employment and production from Scottish fish farms. It is structured to follow industry trends within the farmed Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout and other species sectors. Some statistics are given for the 21-year period 1995-2015. The main findings are;

  • In 2015, production of Atlantic salmon decreased by 7,300 tonnes (4.1%) to 171,722 tonnes. Production levels remained high with this being the second highest level production recorded in Scotland.
  • Production tonnage of rainbow trout increased by 46% in 2015 to 8,588 tonnes. This is the highest ever level of rainbow trout production recorded in Scotland and was due to an increase in marine production (4,678 tonnes compared to 1,909 tonnes in 2014).
  • During 2015 there was an increase in the production of lumpsuckers and wrasse which are used as biological controls for parasites but there was a decrease in brown trout/sea trout and halibut production.

FAO report: Market competition between farmed and wild fish: a literature survey.
The objective of this publication is to identify market competition interactions between wild fisheries and aquaculture and to analyse their consequences through a survey of the existing relevant literature.

Global Aquaculture Alliance’s GOAL summit in China. September 2016.

  • Global shrimp survey: GOAL 2016. Production could reach 4.44 million metric tons by 2018.
  • Aquatic diseases, animal health and welfare remain the industry’s most-limiting factor. GOAL Day 1.
  • Social responsibility in the seafood value chain a challenging conversation for conference speakers as and attendees. GOAL Day 2.
  • Innovation, investment, efficiency, transparency and improvement are the clarion calls for aquaculture. GOAL Day 3.

General news

Wales Plans to Double Aquaculture Production by 2020. 14 October 2016.
The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths has described a vision of a ‘thriving, vibrant, safe, and sustainable seafood industry for Wales’. The Cabinet Secretary was speaking at an event in Cardiff as part of Seafood Week, an annual celebration of fish and Seafood organised by Seafish. The strategy has a target of a 33% increase in seafood production and to double aquaculture output by 2020. It also sets out how the industry can improve fishermen’s safety.

UK lobster hatchery gains major funding boost. 14 October 2016.
Major funding has been secured to develop a lobster hatchery and aquaculture research centre in Northumberland. The Amble Development Trust is behind the £250,000 project, designed to boost the area’s tourism offering and explore environmental benefits. As part of the project, Newcastle University and Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority are looking at various scientific research developments, to see what can be done to ensure the area’s fisheries continue to grow and expand from larvae, through growth to harvesting.

Mussel spawning trials now underway at pilot hatchery. 6 October 2016.
Trials to get mussels to spawn in a hatchery environment are now underway at the NAFC Marine Centre at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). The trials are part of a two-year research and innovation project to test the commercial viability of a Scottish mussel hatchery; a multi-partner collaboration consisting of the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group (SSMG), UHI, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, with co-funding from the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) and, most recently, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.


BBC Report: Omega-3 oils in farmed salmon ‘halved in five years’. 6 October 2016.
Levels of beneficial omega-3 oils in farmed salmon have fallen significantly in the past five years, a study shows. On average, levels of omega-3s halved in the fish over that period. Despite this, the analysis shows that farmed salmon is still one of the richest sources of these fatty acids. But the industry is exploring new ways to arrest the decline – which appears to be due to the type of feed given to the farmed fish. The study was carried out by researchers at Stirling University. Prof Douglas Tocher, who led the research, told BBC News: “About five years ago, a portion of Atlantic salmon of 130g was able to deliver three-and-a-half grams of beneficial omega-3. This is actually our weekly recommended intake. Now, the level of omega-3 has halved,” he said. Therefore, instead of eating one portion of farmed salmon, we would need to eat two portions of farmed salmon,” he explained. Comments

  • IFFO: The challenges faced with the finite supply of fish oil. The recent BBC news article has highlighted the current challenges of including omega-3 fatty acids in farmed salmon. The article focuses on the reduction of fish oil in salmon diets, stating that one of the causes is the cutting back on the amount of anchovies fished and used for feed. This however is not the case as there is very little demand for anchovy for direct human consumption. The industry has reduced fishing, not because of resistance to use in feed but due to responsible management of the fish stocks. The production of fish oil has thus come down to 900/800,000 metric tonnes per year from its peak of more than 1 million mt. Over 40% of global fish oil production is certified under an independent scheme for responsible supply, a higher percentage than plant based ingredients can offer.
  • SSPO comment. Scott Landsburgh, chief executive, said: “The BBC report was a useful reminder that farmed salmon is an excellent source of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, bringing with it a wealth of health benefits for all ages. As an industry it is important that we source feed responsibly and, as a result, there have been some changes in the Omega 3 content, but the levels are still very significant. Scientific research is always looking for new ideas which can bring about useful changes. However, we are quite clear that our focus remains on responsible production of high quality, nutritious salmon which has been the mainstay of our success at home and abroad.” Click here for Q&A on Omega 3 levels in Scottish farmed salmon

Seafish information sources

  • Monthly fishmeal news alert – There is  a monthly Seafish fishmeal industry news e-alert covering news items, legislation and reports. To be added to the mailing list email E: Karen Green
  • Seafish aquaculture web page
  • Aquaculture Responsible Sourcing Guides – Seafish currently offers eight Aquaculture Responsible Sourcing Guides.
  • Seafish Aquaculture Funding Guidance sheets – provide information and help the aquaculture industry in finding potential aquaculture funding streams, both European and national.
  • For general Seafish aquaculture guides and information see
  • For the Aquaculture Common Issues Group minutes and presentations see
  • For the  Seafish Domestic Aquaculture Advisory Committee see
  • For fishmeal news see         

This is an information service provided by Seafish for industry and key stakeholders. The views expressed are not necessarily the views of Seafish.

Issued by:
Karen Green
Industry Issues and Communications
T: +44 (0) 1480 431500. M: +44 (0) 7515 993499

Follow us on Twitter at