Scottish Aquaculture Research Pioneer Celebrates 50th Anniversary With £4m Transformation
The internationally recognised Ardtoe Marine Research Facility, on the west coast of Scotland, marked half a century of service to aquaculture in May 2016 by unveiling new state-of-the-art facilities.
Speaking from the site in Ardtoe, Benchmark Holdings co-founder and FAI Director, Ruth Layton, commented: “With the Scottish industry’s ambitious 2020 sustainable production targets, aquaculture is poised to increase its contribution to the Scottish economy and its role in providing jobs in remote and fragile communities. We are proud to be part of, and be able to support the communities in which we work.
“Since Benchmark purchased the site in October 2013, we have invested over £4m to transform it into a state-of-the-art facility equipped to support a modern and rapidly growing aquaculture industry here, and further afield, get to grips with the challenge of sustainability.”
The enlarged facility, which houses the latest leading-edge technology, will operate 24-hours a day, seven days a week, for 365 days, as a centre of research and innovation. Trial activities will include a wide variety of marine and freshwater species including finfish (salmon, wrasse and lumpfish), shellfish and microalgae. The facility will also offer training courses and complete support services to farmers and producers to help improve welfare and husbandry protocols and practices for key farmed species.
The site will provide in-house development services to the Animal Health, Breeding and Genetics and Advanced Animal Nutrition divisions within the Benchmark Group. As well as a range of contract research and production services for industry, government and academia.