Sustainable Aquatic Food Supply Knowledge Exchange Fellowship

Lead Research Organisation: Scottish Association For Marine Science
Department Name: Scottish Association For Marine Science

Abstract

Global consumption of fish has hit a record high, with fisheries and aquaculture supplying the world with about 145m tonnes in 2009. At the same time, about 32% of global fish stocks were overexploited, depleted or recovering. With the global population expanding at an exponential rate, how will we continue to feed everyone? To meet this challenge, we need to bring together the experts from fishing and aquaculture businesses and marine scientists. The Sustainable Aquatic Food Supply KE Fellowship will address the need for an exchange of information to ensure a continuing, and environmentally sustainable supply of seafood. The project will do this by providing a platform for industry leaders and scientific experts to collaborate; sharing knowledge and data and tackling grand challenges together through collaborative research. This will enable the development of new, innovative and environmentally sustainable products/services to be developed which will help to secure our oceans resources.

Collaboration between industry and academia is key to improving sustainability. This KE Fellowship will provide a platform for this collaboration. It is important to involve parties from across the supply chain and the fellow will begin by holding meetings with businesses in production, processing and retail to explore initial requirements, problems and opportunities. This network will then be expanded through engagement with existing networks and the creation of new contacts.

The KE Fellow will become the main point of contact for businesses and researchers, allowing them to share information arising from UK research undertaken (from academia) and research requirements (from industry). Crucially, the KE Fellow will work closely with businesses to facilitate their involvement in research as well as to gain financial support from industry for research. To ensure that activities and information arising from the Fellowship are made available to all stakeholders and the general public, the KE Fellow will use communication platforms including a website and social networking using e.g. blogs, twitter and/or facebook. The Fellow will also attend public meetings such as the Royal Society Science Festival and undertake dissemination events at locations such as the London aquarium.

It is hoped that there will be two key outputs of this project. Firstly, the KE Fellow will develop an Industry-Led Research Agenda (ILRA). This will be based on the outcomes of a series of workshops (attended by stakeholders from research and industry) to identify research challenges and opportunities. The ILRA will address the main research and innovation areas for each sector (fisheries and aquaculture) for the short-, mid- and long-term. Secondly, the project aims to establish a self-sustaining Sustainable Aquatic Food Supply network group, meaning that the work started by this Fellowship will continue into the future, ensuring that seafood will continue to be available for our children and our children's children.

Publications

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Description Through this knowledge-exchange project, I discovered that many in the academic community working within the area of aquaculture in the UK (particularly those out-with Scotland) believed that there is a need for a research/industry sustainable aquaculture network.
Exploitation Route The key finding should be used as a basis for the next Aquaculture KE Fellowship (which I understand has been advertised for). They could use the database of contacts developed as a starting point to further develop this network.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

 
Title SAFSDatabase 
Description The fellow has developed a database of academics who are working in aquaculture directly and in some cases on the periphery. Academics have been contacted and asked if they would like to be included on the database, some responses are still awaited and will be chased up. In addition to the academic database, UK-based industry organisations have also been included in the database including equipment suppliers, feed suppliers, hatcheries, processors, producers, retailers, transporters and veterinary suppliers. Regulators and other bodies have also been included in the database. To date, industry and regulators have not been contacted regarding the database. A draft version of current database has been sent to Murray Gardner at NERC for approval, however, it should be noted that this database will be dynamic. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact None to date.