Bet­ter treat­ment

Fish Farmer - - Contents - JENNY HJUL – ED­I­TOR

THE size and am­bi­tion of Nor­way’s aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try was on mag­nif­i­cent dis­play at Aqua Nor in Trond­heim last month, and the many vis­i­tors from Scot­land will no doubt have found much in­spi­ra­tion there.

But while our pres­ence was of course much smaller, this coun­try punched well above its weight, with ma­jor Scot­tish sup­pli­ers such as Gael Force and Ace Aquatec re­port­ing steady in­ter­est and busi­ness from the Nor­we­gians, as well as from fur­ther afield. And, in case you missed the big story of the month, it was a Bri­tish com­pany, Bench­mark, that scooped the cov­eted Aqua Nor In­no­va­tion Award, re­peat­ing Ace Aquatec’s coup of two years ago, and boost­ing our rep­u­ta­tion for in­no­va­tion in an ex­cep­tion­ally com­pet­i­tive field.

It was dis­ap­point­ing, there­fore, to hear from Scot­tish salmon farm­ers at the show that they could not use Bench­mark’s prize win­ning CleanTreat sea lice sys­tem on their own sites. Scot­land’s Ru­ral Econ­omy min­is­ter, Fer­gus Ewing, who was in Trond­heim, sup­ports tri­als of CleanTreat in Scot­land. And the head of Marine Scot­land, also at the ex­hi­bi­tion, ap­par­ently re­as­sured the Bench­mark team that they had his back­ing too.

What, then, is the prob­lem? If home-grown tech­ni­cal bril­liance, cheered on by pro­duc­ers and the pow­ers that be, can ad­dress the great­est farm­ing chal­lenges - and sustainabl­y - surely face­less bu­reau­crats would not block such progress. Or would they?

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