CSAR project shortlisted at recent Innovation Awards

The Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research at Swansea University won the category 'Outstanding Impact on Industry, Commerce and Innovation' for its Lumpfish Project - UK fish for UK waters: Developing an alternative to imported Lumpfish eggs and larvae for the cleaner fish industry. CSAR was also shortlisted out of all the winners for the national 'Queen's Anniversary Awards'

LumpfishParasitic sea-lice are the biggest threat facing sustainable salmon production in the world with an annual cost to industry of £500 mill. Using lumpfish as cleaner fish offers an attractive alternative to the use of chemicals or medicines. Research on lumpfish at the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR) - Swansea University, started in 2014. Following this, an R&D collaboration project was developed with industry (c.£1.2 M) to develop this novel species as a solution to the sea-lice problem facing the industry. With a developing network throughout the North Atlantic, a new 4 year ERDF project (c £2M) entitled SMARTAQUA (see image), and a second pan UK research and development collaboration started in 2018 (c £0.25M annually), CSAR are playing an increasingly major role in Lumpfish research and industry development at both a UK and international level.

CSAR fundingThe techniques developed at CSAR for spawning lumpfish, incubating eggs and raising fry have been adopted by many commercial companies who are producing millions of lumpfish for the salmon industry. Through dedicated research and innovation CSAR has directly contributed to a reduction in the need for chemicals in salmon farming and to produce salmon with minimal sea-lice damage.

The Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR) is Wales’ only Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Aquaculture, and the UK’s leading centre on recirculation technology and non-food Aquaculture. The Centre has driven aquaculture innovation in Wales for over a decade, capitalizing on novel Recirculation Technology. It has spear-headed the development of aquaculture in Wales, providing state of the art facilities and know-how to business. The lumpfish operation is an excellent example of a strong industry and academia collaboration with multiple benefits to both parties.

Research at CSAR is contributing to the sustainability of the salmon farming industry. From 2018 CSAR is developing disease screening protocols for industry using unique molecular markers. As the only current supplier of UK sourced fish we will develop the necessary research to allow all other companies in the UK to stop importing lumpfish from Norway and Iceland and to rely on a source of UK fish for UK waters. CSAR is playing a key role in developing the commercial production of lumpfish and has provided advice based on best practice and sound research to aquaculture business in the UK and globally. Through collaborations and dissemination of our research findings, UK aquaculture businesses have expanded their facilities with renewed confidence in the species and will provide the bulk of all cleaner fish to the UK.