Talking fish with Brazil

Brazil visit

Dr Iain Young (centre) with colleagues and guests from Brazil

A delegation from the arm of the Brazilian government dedicated to agriculture visited Liverpool, to learn more about the University’s aquaculture research.

Organised by UKTI, the General Director, Carlos Magus Campos da Rocha and Head of Research and Development, Ariovaldo Luchiari Junior, at the Brazilian Agriculture Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), were joined by colleagues from the Brazilian Ministry of Fishing and Aquaculture and the country’s National Aquaculture Commission.

The party was led by Institute of Integrative Biology (IIB) Senior Lecturer, Dr Iain Young, with the aim of exploring possible collaboration to improve research and delivery in the booming aquaculture sector.

Dr Young said: “The fisheries and aquaculture sector is worth an estimated £200billion globally. With over 70% of the world’s wild fish stocks at risk, aquaculture is growing to fill the gap. Now, half of the fish eaten is farmed, and 80% of this is farmed in China. Aquaculture is the fastest growing sector of agricultural food production, with a 6% increase year-on-year. Fish, with higher protein conversion efficiency than other farmed species, offer a potential solution to food security.”

The guests paid a visit to the University’s Proteomics Facility, in the Institute of Integrative Biology, as well as the Oceans and Ecosystems Research Cluster in the School of Environmental Sciences. Both centres carry out work directly associated with aquaculture and fisheries; including breeding studies, nutrigenomics, toxicology, proteomics, water quality monitoring and heavy metal analysis.

This was followed by a visit to the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society to explore how branding, promotion and other factors influence food choice and diet.

The second day of the trip was devoted to the University’s Leahurst campus, including Wood Park Farm, which was cited as a model for the integration of a commercial production unit with a research facility, and teaching and training resource.

This is of particular interest in relation to the newly founded EMBRAPA Fisheries and Aquaculture Centre, and possible subsequent development of an Aquaculture Innovation Centre.

Eric Arthur Bastos Routledge, Research Coordinator at the Brazilian Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, said: “It was a pleasure to visit the University facilities and meet different Professors from different schools. I´ve seen many areas of potential cooperation and will be happy to help EMBRAPA and other Brazilian research institutes, and Universities, establish connections with the University of Liverpool very soon.”

Dr Young added: “We have a broad spectrum of skills and facilities that can be applied to aquaculture, and we can provide ample opportunities for exchange, collaboration and training. We hope we convinced the delegation that we are uniquely placed to support their development.”

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