Scottish Marine Aquaculture Awards 2019
People’s Choice Award

In addition to the 7 award categories decided by our judging panel, there will be an opportunity for the aquaculture industry to recognise the most inspiring and innovative of all the nominees via People’s Choice award.

Individual votes are welcomed for the entries submitted below. The winner will be announced at the Aquaculture Awards presentation on Wednesday 29 May 2019. Voting will close at 5pm on Tuesday 28 May, 2019.

Nominees Biographies 


Dr Yilin Li, quality division supervisor, INVE Aquaculture, USA

Dr Li has extensive experience in applying food science and fisheries knowledge to set up the food quality system to achieve better quality, which has contributed significantly to her field. Product quality is a key factor in the success of any industry, especially the food/feed industry. Implementing her methods has allowed the company to prioritise and control potential hazards in their production and ensure the provision of safe products of the highest quality. By controlling major food risks, such as microbiological, chemical and physical contaminants, the company can assure consumers that its products are as safe during the entire lifecycle of food, which includes procurement, processing, packaging, delivery and storage.


Gorka Ahedo, field team supervisor, InnovaSea Systems, Panama

Gorka began working for Open Blue in 2015 as a diver and has since risen to the position of R&D operation’s manager, leading a team of five staff who travel eight miles off the Caribbean coast of Panamá to install, test and develop novel technologies developed by InnovaSea Systems and Open Blue. Gorka and his team spend five days a week in an environment where waves regularly exceed 3 metres and currents can run in excess of 50 cm/second. His can-do attitude and leadership have helped to develop InnovaSea’s submerged multi-pen feed system, new pen types including the installation of the largest SeaStation ever deployed and a novel mesh type using copper alloy. Working with new systems in a high-energy environment has a lot of safety risks associated with it and he has a keen eye for risk assessment and puts the safety of himself and his team first. Gorka’s team has a sparkling record with safety, having not lost a single work day to serious injury.


Nathan Pyne-Carter, managing director, Ace Aquatec, UK

Since becoming MD of ACE Aquatec, Nathan Pyne-Carter has quickly become a respected expert in the field of humane approaches to fish farm predator control and electrical stunning of fish, prior to slaughter. In addition to rising as an industry and product expert, he has been responsible for each aspect of business operations. He successfully implemented a business model of outsourcing non-core competencies, which allowed the company to focus on developing technologies to improve the aquaculture industry, whilst simultaneously single-handedly responding to customers and managing supplier relationships. Nathan has won several industry innovation awards, including the Aquaculture UK Innovation Award 2016, the first Scottish and non-Norwegian company to win the AquaNor Innovation Award in 2017, and was a finalist for Aquaculture Supplier of the Year and Innovation Award at the 2018 Aquaculture UK awards. 2018 saw the most prestigious recognition for his work, winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise Innovation – the first Dundee company to do so in 15 years. This was awarded, specifically, for growth and innovation in predator deterrent systems, recognising significant investment in R&D, in addition to benefits to the aquaculture industry.


Caitriona Carter, Irstea, France

Caitríona is the author of The Politics of Aquaculture: Sustainability interdependence, territory and regulation in fish farming, which offers a comparative study of the politics of governing fish farming in Europe ranging from the Scottish salmon sector to trout production in Aquitaine and seabass and sea bream farming in Greece. The book is novel for applying political science questions to analyse fish farming; for encouraging new ways of thinking about fish farming, abandoning polemic discussions either ‘for’ or ‘against’ this industry; and for providing new, relevant and difficult to find data on fish farming governing choices and policies. The book draws on a range of qualitative source material including documentary analysis, participant observation and over 60 interviews with industry actors and public officials. An important and unexpected finding of the book is that whereas there are clear public policy differences between territory/sector governing, there has been convergence towards institutionalising ecosystem approaches to aquaculture in all three cases.


Richard Darbyshire, Orkney regional production manager, Scottish Sea Farms

Richard recently celebrated 10 years as the company’s regional production manager in Orkney. He arrived in the role having inherited five existing salmon farms recently acquired from another company, each one under performing. His first priority was to bring each farm up to the company’s standards for infrastructure, equipment, staffing, health and safety, training and development. With the local knowledge gained in the process, he then worked with colleagues to research other good farming locations, subsequently applying for three new consents: Wyre, which went live in 2015, creating six new jobs, and went on to win M&S Outstanding Producer of the Year 2018; Westerbister, which went live in 2016, creating a further six new jobs; and Lober Rock, which will also create six jobs when it opens this autumn. With the opening of this eighth farm, what began as workforce of nine will grow to 50 full-time jobs with an average salary (£37,215) significantly above both the Orkney (£26,260) and the Scottish national average (£27,404). By championing Scottish Sea Farms’ Heart of the Community initiative, and by actively encouraging applications, Richard has also played a key role in 63 grants being awarded to Orkney causes, providing a total boost of £228,265.


Aquaculture Awards


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