The University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture is world reknown having been recognised for its work in 2019 with the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, on of the UK’s most prestigious honours in the world of academia. A large part of the Institute’s work focuses on the challenging issue of how aquaculture can support the rapidly increasing human population without depleting wild-fish stocks.
Seafood is traded globally and is one of the most valuable food commodities in the world. Salmon and shrimp have emerged as major farmed seafood commodities but most aquaculture products are produced and consumed domestically, usually in low and medium income countries. The research at Stirling addresses many of the challenges facing this sector as well as the people working in it. This is done through strategies to improve fish health and production while maintaining an emphasis on issues such as sustainability, animal welfare, and biodiversity. See below for a few of the key areas of research taking place at Stirling currently:
Improving fish health
A major barrier to sustainable aquaculture is disease. In addition, the 598 species used in aquaculture worldwide makes it very difficult to keep track of the pathogens. At the Institute of Aquaculture, there is a large multi-disciplinary group dedicated to this area with the goal of improving the understanding of major pathogens in aquaculture systems. To do this, an integration of expertise is used across all relevant areas including bacteriology, immunology, parasitology, pathology, vaccinology and virology.
Helping Self-Sufficiency of People
The Institute of Aquaculture at Stirling has a long history of helping people develop infrastructure in aquaculture, beginning with work in Bangladesh in 1979. Recently, the work of the Institute has evolved into larger program initiatives – one of which has focussed on tilapia, a breed of fish that is now a key part of aquaculture in many parts of the Tropics. Tilapia is important to people in less developed countries because it is easy and inexpensive to culture and can provide additional sources of income and nutrition for local populations.
Eco-friendly solution for sea lice
More than £700 million a year is lost in the aquaculture industry for Atlantic salmon due to Sea Lice. For decades, medicines and chemicals were used to control and treat these type of infestations. However, along with input from the industry the Institute undertook research into the use of ‘cleaner fish’ as a pest control alternative.
Are you interested in finding out more about research or postgraduate studies in Aquaculture at the University of Stirling? For information or to apply from Canada, please contact our Canadian agent Barclay Educational Services at JSB@barclayedu.com Please Note: Applications are being accepted for Fall 2020 but the start date for programs at Stirling has been changed to October 12th.