Plenty to di­gest at bite sized sem­i­nars

Jason Cleaver­smith from the Scot­tish Aqua­cul­ture In­no­va­tion Cen­tre re­ports

Fish Farmer - - News -

THE Lo­foten Is­lands rise from the Nor­we­gian Sea with sheer cliffs and dra­matic scenery, akin to be­ing at 2,500m plus in the Alps, al­beit now at sea level.

The land of the mid­night sun is not only home to a thriv­ing cod fish­ery and spec­tac­u­lar wildlife, but Nus­fjord on the southern penin­sula was also the tem­po­rary home last month to 150 in­ter­na­tional del­e­gates in­vited by Europharma to par­tic­i­pate in its an­nual sem­i­nar se­ries.

Scot­tish del­e­gates were well rep­re­sented with at­ten­dees from Scot­tish Sea Farms, the Scot­tish Salmon Com­pany, MSD and Zoetis, min­gling with col­leagues from as far afield as New Zealand, Chile and Ice­land, who were of course joined by a strong ‘home’ con­tin­gent.

Twenty four sem­i­nars, packed into one and a half days, pro­vided an ex­cel­lent over­view of the am­bi­tions of sev­eral coun­tries in this do­main and, at a deeper level, the progress be­ing made on key fronts in tack­ling some of the chal­lenges cur­rently faced by the sec­tor.

Th­ese bite size sem­i­nars were in­ter­spersed with ‘cul­tural’ in­sights into Lo­foten’s mu­sic scene, with young mu­si­cians im­press­ing the del­e­gates with their tal­ents (ge­nius sched­ul­ing a heavy metal band just af­ter lunch to en­sure that all del­e­gates were awake and ready to di­gest both their food and a ses­sion on the am­bi­tions for growth of the Scot­tish aqua­cul­ture sec­tor).

Of par­tic­u­lar note were ses­sions on ‘Could mack­erel be the real prob­lem be­hind de­clin­ing wild salmon stocks?’, in­sights into nu­tri­tion and pig­men­ta­tion, progress in smolti­fi­ca­tion and mat­u­ra­tion, ad­vances in vac­cine tech­nolo­gies and novel im­mune stim­u­lants, post smolt pro­duc­tion and RAS de­sign, along with a ses­sion on ‘the proof is in the poo’, thank­fully some time be­fore din­ner!

The sem­i­nar closed with an up­beat outlook for the sec­tor de­liv­ered by Solveig Van Nes, of Cre­una, who re­stated what a fan­tas­tic prod­uct salmon is from sev­eral dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives; a healthy pro­tein, sus­tain­ably pro­duced and with sig­nif­i­cant up­sides for lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and re­gions.

Be­ing proud of what we do, and what we’ve achieved was a great way to end a very in­for­ma­tive and en­joy­able cou­ple of days.

The good folks at Europharma, led by Jim-Roger Nordly, and closer to home, Nikos Steiropou­los, did them­selves proud with first class hos­pi­tal­ity, out­stand­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion and some in­ter­est­ing take­aways (if you are a fan of dried cod as a del­i­cacy).

A fan­tas­tic net­work­ing op­por­tu­nity, highly in­for­ma­tive and a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence why the Lo­foten Is­lands is the global HQ for Europharma. Sign me up for next year.

Above: Jason Cleaver­smith

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