Aquaculture in the UK is widely acknowledged as having among the highest standards in the world.
These awards recognise the best of the best in the industry and celebrate the achievements of a sector that is vitally important both to the national economy and to numerous economically fragile rural communities.
The Awards highlight the many good things happening in UK aquaculture and give due recognition to those making an exceptional contribution to the industry, now and in the future. They are open to everyone involved in the UK aquaculture industry, no matter how large or small, including smolt suppliers.
The awards go to those who:
- Employ the highest standards of aquaculture husbandry
- Farm with a high level of environmental awareness
- Deliver a high-quality end product to local, national or international markets
Organised by the Aquaculture UK team and supported by a number of commercial partners, the awards are free to enter.
The presentation of the awards will take place during a special Awards Dinner at the Aquaculture UK 2018 Exhibition in Aviemore (www.aquacultureuk.com), and will be preceded by a showcase day for all categories and nominees.
Best Aquaculture Company
Awarded at the judging panel’s discretion, this award will recognise sustainable practice, business performance, investment, staff management practices and local community involvement. The shortlist will be determined on the basis of information provided by entries across this year’s 11 other categories as well as any additional information that the judges are aware of through their knowledge of the industry.
Finfish Farm Manager of the Year
Companies are being invited to nominate their best hands-on finfish site and area managers for either their consistent excellence across the board or exceptional achievement in one particular aspect of the individual’s responsibilities, which has resulted in notable benefits for the farm(s) and the company. Please note that judges may wish to arrange to visit and/or interview shortlisted nominees at work.
Shellfish Farm Manager of the Year
Companies are being invited to nominate their best hands-on shellfish site and area managers for either their consistent excellence across the board or exceptional achievement in one particular aspect of the individual’s responsibilities, which has resulted in notable benefits for the farm(s) and the company. Please note that judges may wish to arrange to visit and/or interview shortlisted nominees at work.
The wider industry will be invited to nominate any individuals or companies who they feel have enhanced how the wider public, politicians, regulators or stakeholders perceive the industry, or have made an outstanding contribution to the working life of their colleagues.
Aquaculture Seafood Product of the Year
The wider industry will be invited to nominate an innovative product that has been launched since the previous awards (2015). The product should be able to demonstrate its success in target markets and nominators should highlight any particular features or merits.
Aquaculture Supplier of the Year
The wider industry will be invited to nominate a supplier who has shown commitment to any of the following: quality of products, services, technical advice and input, back-up service and communication, product research and development to further the economic performance and sustainability of the aquaculture industry. Nominees could be suppliers of aquaculture products or suppliers of goods and services to fish and shellfish producers.
The industry will be invited to nominate an individual, company or other organisation who has improved and enhanced the image and knowledge of the sector within local coastal communities. There will be a particular focus on education and raising awareness among individuals or groups, including local community bodies, businesses and schools.
Companies and individuals are invited to enter for this category and the award will be presented to the person who has developed a husbandry or business practice that has made a significant and positive contribution to the economic sustainability of the business – whether in existing or new markets.
Stewardship and Sustainability Award
Companies and individuals are invited to enter for this category, which will award an initiative that has contributed significantly to the sustainability of the business in its environment. This will cover areas such as:
- Containment, predator management, wild stock interactions, waste management and mitigation, benthic and water column impacts and visual amenity.
- Collaborative resource management, including with other marine businesses.
- Local stakeholder interactions.
Companies or individuals are invited to enter for this category, which is looking for evidence of any innovation that has made a significant positive contribution to, among other factors, production performance, animal welfare, processing, health and safety, sustainability or product development. This can be demonstrated in one of the following areas:
- Use of existing or new technology
- Staff management and training
- Farming practices
Rising Star Award
This new category is being launched to mark the achievements of the up-and-coming generation of the industry and nominations will be open to all under-35’s based in the UK.
People’s Choice Award
In addition to the 11 award categories decided by our judging panel, there will be an opportunity for the aquaculture industry to recognize the most inspiring and innovative of all the nominees via The Aquaculture UK people’s choice award. Delegates at Aviemore and readers of The Fish Site will be able to vote for any company or individual who makes the shortlist of any of the other award categories and the winner will claim the inaugural edition of this prize.
According to the latest FAO figures, global aquaculture production is predicted to increase 90 per cent by 2050. This is a very exciting time to be in the industry, and these awards showcase the technology and innovation driving this growth.Matt Colvan