Finance Minister opens Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture Research
One of Europe's most advanced research facilities for cultivating fish and shellfish under environmentally-friendly conditions has been opened by Andrew Davies, Minister for Finance and Public Service Delivery.
The Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture Research (CSAR), in Swansea University's School of the Environment and Society, is developing new approaches to fish and shellfish farming, focused on providing the highest standards of animal health and welfare, without risk to the natural environment.
Researchers are revolutionising approaches to fish farming, in line with the Welsh Assembly Government's priority of providing new economic opportunities and new sources of high quality seafood through sustainable aquaculture.
The £2million centre was established at the University in 2003, and was part-funded by the European Union's Objective One programme through the Welsh Assembly Government's Aquaculture Wales (AqWa) project.
AqWa is dedicated to developing and transferring sustainable aquaculture approaches for Wales and internationally, through innovative R&D, advocacy, education and training. AqWa operations now form part of the multi-institutional Welsh Institute for Sustainable Environments (WISE).
The CSAR facility provides a world-class platform for research on the sustainable aquaculture of practically any tropical or coldwater marine or freshwater fish or invertebrate.
Modern water recirculation technology provides optimal growing conditions for livestock, to prevent both disease and the discharge of wastes back to the environment.
Key areas of current research underway at the Centre include aquaculture water quality control and effluent management, nutritional requirements and feed evaluation for farmed aquatic animals, and fish and crustacean immunology.
And a postgraduate MSc Aquaculture and the Environment course is also offered at the University.
Andrew Davies, Minister for Finance and Public Service Delivery, said: "I am delighted to have opened Swansea University's latest world-class facility. This new research centre once again proves Wales is leading the way in sustainable production and development.
"The state-of-the-art facilities here will contribute to research in the field of sustainable production of high quality foods, and will bring considerable benefits to businesses and industry in Wales."
Dr Robin Shields, Director of CSAR, said: "This project has placed Swansea and Wales firmly on the international sustainable aquaculture map. I am sure that given the level of enquiries we are receiving and the positive support from the Welsh Assembly Government, our future and the future for the growing aquaculture industry in Wales will be assured."
Professor Richard B Davies, Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University, said: "As a research-led University, research informs all our activities. Investment in new first-class facilities such as the Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture Research enables the University to expand its research programmes, subsequently benefiting our teaching and impacting on business and industry in Wales, the UK, and internationally.
"We are particularly excited by this development because it relates so strongly to modern concerns about sustainable development. And we were delighted to welcome the Minister to officially open this Centre, which is helping Swansea and Wales to lead the way in sustainable aquaculture research."
For more information on the Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture Research at Swansea University, visit the website.