'AquacultureUK Expo’ – Aviemore, Scotland, May 2016

Posted by Lee Cocker, Aquaculture Manager and Craig Burton, Regional Manager on 15 June 2016

Over 1,400 visitors came to the AquacultureUK Expo held in Aviemore over two full days from the 25th-26th May 2016.  The event consisted of industry talks and over 100 stands occupied by a wide variety of aquaculture exhibitors from across the industry, and unsurprisingly Atlantic salmon was the main focus.

Seafish's presence at the event gave us an excellent opportunity to highlight our drive to assist the UK aquaculture industry, highlighting works on-going and provisions soon to be released information from the Domestic Aquaculture Strategy programme.

Seafish aquaculture personnel Lee Cocker and Craig Burton manned the Seafish stand. We offered a number of handouts including short technical reports on the production of shellfish, to information from other Seafish Divisions who are developing services pertinent to the aquaculture sector, e.g. workshops such as the ACIG, newsletters and alerts, off/on-shore training, RASS, etc.

Aquaculture Expo 1
 
Event visitors and other stand exhibitors that approached the Seafish stand were given a variety of information about Seafish. Depending on the nature of the enquiry, information was offered from the stand, or the enquirer was given an update on aquaculture work in progress (e.g. the 'Several and Regulating Order' report; the 'Economic Assessment of Aquaculture in England, Wales and NI'), or were directed to the correct channel. 

Aquaculture Expo 2
 
The stand proved an ideal platform to highlight to a multitude of stakeholders, from students to key players, that shellfish aquaculture is an important element of current UK aquaculture production across the UK, and is an industry with a great potential for expansion.

Attending the event also gave Seafish personnel the opportunity to reach-out to other exhibitors, and re-connect with existing stakeholders - exchanging thoughts and ideas. For instance, interesting conversations were initiated with Stirling University, the lead institution on a new €7million pan-European Horizon2020 'TAPAS' (Tools for Assessment and Planning of Aquaculture Sustainability) project, on how Seafish could possibly assist and contribute to this project.

Attending the AquacultureUK Expo was a thoroughly enjoyable and successful exercise.. It has reinforced the importance of a Seafish presence (whether at a manned stand or as a visitor) at such large events - with the next being the European Aquaculture Show which is to be held in Edinburgh in September 2016.