Posted by February 2, 2016

OI 2016: Growing Aquaculture Opportunities

Photo courtesy Oceanology International

Photo courtesy Oceanology International

The growing economic importance of the aquaculture industry in the marine environment, and the opportunities for technology transfer are highlighted by the day-long ‘Aquaculture’ conference stream on Wednesday 16 March at Oceanology International 2016 (OI 2016) the world’s largest exhibition and conference for marine science and ocean technology (London’s ExCeL, March 15-17).

This follows the successful debut of the topic at OI in 2014. Like all the component parts of Oceanology International it is free to attend.

Looking forward to OI 2016, the Chairman of the Aquaculture conference committee, Professor Peter Davies of the University of Dundee, explained, “The opportunity to bring to the attention of the wider marine science and technology community the new challenges faced by the aquaculture sector is exciting and timely.  The sector continues to grow globally and with this growth come new challenges that call for innovative research and technology solutions. 

“The innovation thread runs through the 2016 program and it is exemplified by presentations on the industry-led Innovation Centers that have been established recently in Norway and Scotland to facilitate collaborations with academic researchers. 

“Questions of fish health, containment, environmental security, marine biofuel development and spatial planning all feature strongly in the industry’s strategic considerations and these themes are also addressed in the program. 

“Furthermore, the program reflects the fast moving nature of the industry and the constant pressure to respond to new threats and opportunities,” he added. “For example, the need to develop new sites in unsheltered waters demands new and innovative approaches to design moorings and anchors able to withstand severe weather conditions, to develop sensors and automatic measurement and telemetry systems for fish cages and to monitor the behaviour of farmed fish populations. 

“Presentations on the exciting opportunities associated with attempts to develop fuel from the sea, the need to examine the possibilities for more land-based systems for aquaculture and the progress with marine shellfish farming all signify new areas of exploration in the industry. “

“The day’s event has been created by a committee of four individuals with wide experience of research and practice in the aquaculture field,” explains Event Director, Jonathan Heastie of organisers Reed Exhibitions.  “Professor Peter Davies has interests in fluid mechanics in relation to aquaculture systems; and the involvement of Alex Adrian, Aquaculture Officer for The Crown Estate, reflects that organization’s aquaculture business interests around the U.K. in relation to finfish, shellfish and macroalgae.

“Richard Slaski, Managing Director at Epsilon Resource Management Ltd, Executive Director of Fisheries Innovation Scotland (FIS) and Head of the Secretariat of the Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum has many years’ international experience in the fields of aquaculture, commercial production, fisheries and related marine environmental strategy and policy; and the fourth member of our strong committee, Professor Kenneth Black (Scottish Association for Marine Science), is a researcher in marine science and sustainability with particular expertise in the environmental impact of aquaculture.”

“They have put together a stimulating programme that will undoubtedly open many eyes to the business opportunities in this growing industry.”

Committee members Richard Slaski and Alex Adrian will get the conference off to a flying start with the scene-setting ‘Challenges facing offshore aquaculture’. Keith Jeffery, Aquaculture Development & Support Officer at CEFAS will then speak about ‘The potential for shortening the pen-based phase of the salmon ongrowing cycle: strategic implications’, to be followed by Lawrie Stove, Managing Director of AquaMoor talking about ‘Innovative mooring technologies for exposed aquaculture locations.’

After a short networking break John Holmyard, Managing Director of Offshore Shellfish will speak about ‘Offshore mussel farming: Theory and reality’; ‘A ruggedized, deployable and autonomous system for the quantification of faecal indicator bacteria in natural waters for improving biosecurity in shellfisheries’ will be Molecular Biologist, Jonathan McQuillan of the National Oceanography Centre’s topic; to be followed by Arne Fredheim, Research Director, Department of Aquaculture Technology, SINTEF Fisheries & Aquaculture looking at ‘A center for research-based innovation in exposed aquaculture operations - collaboration and synergies between maritime industries within the "Ocean Space’’.

The lunch break enables those attending the conference stream to visit the exhibition; and the third session begins with Marco Pieterse, Director of BlueLeg Monitor talking about ‘Surface water quality observation moving to the internet of things era: The EcoWatch; his presentation will be followed by Ketil Horn, Sales Manager of Nortek AS speaking about ‘A novel system for easy access to critical parameters in modern fish farms’; and then Peter Miller, Principal Earth Observation Scientist, Plymouth Marine Laboratory will take ‘Satellite-based water quality monitoring for shellfish farms to support management decisions’ as his topic.

The final session sees Jason Cleaversmith, Director of Business Development at SAIC, talk about ‘The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre’; before two speakers both from SAMS take to the lectern – first Phil Kerrison, Postdoctoral Research Associate speaking about ‘Marine biofuel production technology’, to be followed by Michele Stanley, Senior Lecturer in Marine Molecular Biology on ‘Biorefining’.

There are Canadian, French, German, Irish, Dutch and U.S. national group stands at OI 2016, as well as a diving pavilion; and individual exhibitors come from 32 countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE, U.K. and the U.S. Together they take up over 8,000m2 of stand space making OI 2016 the largest ever held in its 47-year history. In 2014 there were 520+ exhibiting companies and total attendance over the three days of over 8,400 industry professionals.

OI 2016 is staged in partnership with the SUT and with The Hydrographic Society UK; the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST); the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA); the Marine Technology Society (MTS); and the Society of Maritime Industries (SMI) as endorsing organizations.

NortekInternational Marine Contractors AssociationOcean Technology