New UK aquaculture research center to play pivotal part in “Green Brexit” plans
How seafood can be safety and sustainably produced is the focus of research that will be undertaken by the newly-formed Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture Futures in Devon, United Kingdom.
Aquaculture research projects in Thailand and India are among the priority research projects that will be taken forward by SAF, a joint project between the Centre for Environment, Aquaculture and Fisheries Science (Cefas), and the University of Exeter.
“As we work towards a Green Brexit, it is crucial we tackle the challenges facing our marine environment, and Cefas’ commitment to scientific research and innovation has never been so important,” said Environment Secretary Michael Gove at Cefas' annual science conference. “The new center not only establishes our position as a world leader in marine science and sustainability, but will prove critical to the health of our fisheries and the economic vitality of our coastal areas – helping us in our continued drive to leave the environment in a better state for the next generation.”
SAF, which will bring together top scientists from around the world, will focus on research in aquatic animal health, food safety and protection of the aquatic environment.
“For the first time, government and academic science related to aquaculture sustainability is coming together in support of development and consolidation of the global industry,” said SAF co-director and pathologist professor Grant Stentiford from Cefas.
Given that animal disease and food safety present two of the most significant hurdles to sustainable production, SAF “will place major focus on scientific research and advice where the impact to industry and society will be highest,” said Charles Tyler, SAF co-director and professor with the University of Exeter.
Among the current projects that SAF will spearhead include: Newton-funded programs in Thailand, focused on new models for controlling disease in aquaculture; joint aquaculture health projects funded by Newton/BBSRC in India, Bangladesh and Malawi; and 10 joint PhD studentships in aquatic animal health and food safety, funded between 2015 and 2020.