The new SWEEP Water Quality and Aquaculture project kicked off this month (June 2019) with an event for partners and stakeholders hosted at the University of Exeter.
The project team were joined by representatives from the aquaculture industry, water industry, government and NGOs, along with colleagues from the wider SWEEP team and University.
The purpose of this launch event was to introduce the new project to stakeholders and to facilitate discussions about wider issues facing the aquaculture industry.
Project Lead, Professor Charles Tyler, said:
“Aquaculture and the potential for its future expansion is affected by a wide range of factors affecting water quality, including pathogens and chemicals in agricultural runoff and wastewater, as well as the regulations associated with aquaculture installations and conflicts for space. Bringing together stakeholders from different sectors is essential for supporting the development of this industry in the South West. It was great to all the relevant stakeholders join us for an open discussion around water quality and wider issues facing the aquaculture sector”.
Presentations were given on the scope of the new project, and the team introduced various tools and models which the project team can employ to answer questions about the links between water quality and sustainable aquaculture. Following this, all participants then joined in a workshop to gauge perceptions around water quality management.
Ross Brown, Impact Fellow on the project, said:
“It was very interesting to see that perceptions were wide ranging, and analysis of the workshop results showed that affiliation to a particular sector, such as the aquaculture or government sector, does not pre-determine an individual’s perspective on the issues.”
The information gathered from the launch event is now being used to further develop the specifics of the project.
The project will run for two years and will help better understand the dependencies of aquaculture on water quality and how this can be managed most effectively in South West catchments. More information about this SWEEP project can be found on the Water Quality and Aquaculture project page. View a selection of the slides presented by the SWEEP team at the launch event.