The Institute of Aquaculture (IoA) at the University of Stirling (UoS), Scotland, UK, is a Global Centre of Excellence for Aquaculture and related Aquatic Resource Science, and one of the leading institutes worldwide solely focused on research and teaching underpinning aquaculture.
The IoA combines cross-disciplinary, world-class research to meet the wide range of challenges faced as aquaculture grows to meet global demands. They have 75 staff members in four main research groups, Reproduction & Genetics, Nutrition, Aquatic Animal Health & Welfare, and Sustainable Aquaculture and two UoS-wide Centres for Aquatic Food Security and Marine Biotechnology.
The IoA will also host the National Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Hub, which will be a pioneering innovation centre set-up to drive the UK’s ambitions to become a world leader in modern aquaculture practice.
Their scientific team involved in the AquaIMPACT has worldwide recognition and proven track record in salmon genetics and reproduction, nutrition, health and welfare. Their previous EU-projects have studied fish nutrition and metabolism, and the development of sustainable feeds including genetic influences and nutrient-genome interactions. They have co-operated with salmon farming and feed industries to develop novel feeds based on sustainable ingredients.
“The results obtained in AquaIMPACT will hopefully validate the use of nutritional programming in salmon farming as a promoter of health-beneficial fatty acids and coloration. This will highly likely result in benefits to our industrial partners by lowering the inclusion of FO while producing more nutritious salmon for the general consumer”, says Monica Betancor, Associate Professor in the Institute of Aquaculture at the University of Stirling.
In AquaIMPACT, the role of the team from IoA has largely been to focus on fish nutrition in order to produce high-quality seafood. This has been achieved using innovative studies on the nutritional programming of Atlantic salmon in conjunction with other leading academic and industrial partners. The feeding trials represent innovative actions to assess impacts of the interaction between genotype and nutrition on important production and health traits in commercially relevant fish in near industrial farming systems.