International Centre for Aquaculture Research and Development

International Centre for Aquaculture Research and Development

The creation of the International Centre for Aquaculture Research and Development at the University of Aberdeen is to consolidate and strengthen all aquaculture related research at the University of Aberdeen to help develop a sustainable aquaculture industry worldwide. Most of our research is stakeholder-driven and will directly or indirectly help the aquaculture industry.

The centre encompasses three themes in which we have strength and depth: health, disease and nutrition that will allow us to take, uniquely, an interdisciplinary "farm to fork" approach. The centre will bring together about 25 senior researchers from six different schools across the university that all work on aquaculture related issues employing several disciplines including biology, economics, sociology and engineering sciences.


Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, shellfish and algae. Aquaculture has been increasing globally by 8-9% per annum over the last few decades to supply food for the table. In Scotland, production is dominated by farming Atlantic salmon, which is now the largest food export in the UK. The Scottish government has set the Aquaculture industry ambitious targets in terms of production, with the goal to increase salmon production by 50,000 tonnes by 2020. These numbers reflect EU aspirations of doubling production by 2030 to €14 billion.

To increase aquaculture production and its consumption in an environmentally sustainable way, our research efforts will focus on studying the key limiting factors and threats to the aquaculture sector, which include disease, sustainable feed production, and creating marketing tools for the industry to enhance fish consumption by the general public.

Therefore, to satisfy the demand for healthy and nutritious aquaculture products the International Centre for Aquaculture Research and Development (ICARD), based at the University of Aberdeen, aims to play a key role in helping national and global aquaculture farmers and industries achieving their goals.

Our main activities

Our main activities include:

  1. Promote our research at regional, national and international meetings for academics and especially stakeholders.
  2. Enhance the quality of scientific outputs and impact of our research.
  3. Actively engage with and support stakeholders in the Scottish aquaculture sector through direct interactions, and via the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO), British Trout Association (BTA), the Scottish Government, the Food and Health Innovation Service and other organisations.
  4. Actively engage with and support international stakeholders.
  5. Create the capacity to capitalise on newly emerging aquaculture related issues in the future.
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