One Health Aquaculture: Healthy Food, Healthy Animals, Healthy Ecosystems

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: The Roslin Institute


Globally, aquaculture produces more than 70 million tonnes of fish per annum, with an estimated value of $160billion and has increased 5-fold over the last 30 years and is predicted to be 40% of global fisheries (by tonnage) by 2025 ( While, the human health benefits of a diet rich in oily fish and seafood have been well publicised, a recent Seafood Intelligence transparency report ( highlights a range of environmental, social, and societal areas in which knowledge is lacking in terms of impacts. These areas concern energy and GHG emissions, biodiversity and ecosystem function waste, and water consumption.

The UK is the second largest aquaculture producer in the EU, on account of its large Atlantic salmon industry, and is also a major exporter of salmon to the rest of the EU, and in the UK there is also growing consumer concern over animal welfare, pest & disease management.

This PhD will focus on quantifying the impact of Scottish Aquaculture production systems in terms of the environmental, ecological and animal health impacts of farming practices. Specifically, it will:
1. Review and synthesise knowledge about the above impacts and how they are affected by farming practice for salmonids and shellfish
2. Conduct case study assessments on Scottish producers
3. Co-design and develop, with and for Scottish farmers and supply chain actors, a decision support system to assess impacts
4. Identify best practices with respect to environmental and animal health and welfare.

The UK-based aquaculture supply chain needs to be able to understand, report, and improve on the sustainability of aquaculture farming and related upstream processes in relation to the above issues. This will enable the identification of currently unsustainable practices at "farm" level and will also allow the transparent reporting to consumers and to provide policy with evidence on good and bad practices to inform policy and regulation in the UK and overseas. Robust understanding of the environmental impacts will mean that social licence for aquaculture will be easier to maintain in potentially threatened areas such as Scottish sea lochs.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M010996/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
2277801 Studentship BB/M010996/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Amy McGoohan