Scoping Study - NAFC Marine Centre Onshore Aquaculture Facilitites
NAFC Marine Centre UHI | Published January 20, 2016 - Deadline February 12, 2016
151000, 151100, 151300, 151400, 152200, 152300, 181900, 399999
The NAFC Marine Centre is an educational and scientific institute, located in Shetland. The Centre provides a range of services relevant to the maritime industries, including: training and education; research and development; and consultancy and advisory services. The Centre is operated by a charitable trust (the Shetland Fisheries Training Centre Trust) and employs around 40 people.
The Department of Marine Science & Technology (MST) carries out a range of applied research and development projects that are relevant to the fishing and aquaculture industries, marine spatial planning and the general marine environment. The Department currently employs a total of 21 staff with seven of those currently engaged in aquaculture research and development.
Within MST, much of the activity in the Aquaculture Section has been facilitated through the Marine Hatchery, which is the Centre’s onshore aquaculture facility. The relatively small facility was opened in 1999 as a ‘training and demonstration facility’ to satisfy local and national ambitions in the field of cold-water mariculture. Since opening, aquaculture projects have included cultivation of finfish (e.g., salmonids, halibut, cod, wrasse, lumpsuckers, etc.), shellfish (e.g., oysters, mussels, lobsters, etc.) and various seaweeds; as well as engaging in other fields such as parasite therapeutics (e.g. sea lice and AGD) and various other collaborations with aquaculture producers, aquaculture suppliers and the Scottish life-sciences sector.
In addition to developing expertise in aquaculture techniques, the facilities have also allowed staff to satisfy a range of other activities for the Centre including a wide portfolio of courses (e.g. NC, HNC, MSc and various CPD training), as well as allowing the Centre to engage in educational outreach.
In reflecting the broad ranging requirements of these projects to date, the Marine Hatchery has been developed over time in response to the requirements of specific projects, rather than through a strategic development plan. The current system and facilities, therefore, have certain limitations and restrictions, and some elements are coming to the end of their serviceable life.
Aims of Scoping Study
The aims of the proposed scoping study are to:
- Report to Trustees and staff of the NAFC Marine Centre, clearly appraising the needs for, and future provision of, a land-based aquaculture facilities at the Centre to further aid their strategic planning.
- Assess a range of options (with associated cost/benefit analysis) for continued provision of a land-based aquaculture facility at the Centre.
In order to inform future investment in the onshore aquaculture facilities at the NAFC Marine Centre the Scoping Study will be based around a detailed SWOT analysis. Likely actions will be to:
- Assess the current status of the infrastructure at the Marine Hatchery,
- Analyse the activities and scale of operation provided at onshore aquaculture facilities in the UK, with particular emphasis on the Highlands and Islands region (including current and past NAFC activity for comparison and context) and to cover commercial and research (and public) facilities,
- Review and assimilate national aquaculture priorities, consult with existing and potential stakeholders and demonstrate niche areas of opportunity, both locally and national, that would best suit NAFC Marine Centre, allowing it to service the medium-term to long-term aspirations of those that utilise onshore aquaculture facilities
- Explore options for alternative business models for the facility, with respect to the Centre’s vision and strategic plan.
- Determine options and necessary scale for a flexible, modern and fit-for-purpose onshore aquaculture facility (these options should also include the possibility of running a semi commercial operation).
Each option to be provided with indicative build and operational costs. Options may include: