Plenty to digest at bite sized seminars
Jason Cleaversmith from the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre reports
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