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Aquaculture Research Collaborative Hub for the UK


ARCH UK (Aquaculture Research Collaborative Hub for the UK) is a joint BBSRC and NERC project to support high-quality, innovative research and address strategic challenges facing UK aquaculture. It is a partnership between four universities; The University of Stirling (Lead Research Organisation), Swansea University, The University of Aberdeen and The University of Exeter, of which Charles Tyler is part of the Executive Management team.

SAF, through wider collaborations across the UK Aquaculture Initiative, are involved in 3 large collaborative projects funded through this initiative.


AquaLeap: Innovation in Genetics and Breeding to Advance UK Aquaculture Production. A major research collaboration between academic and industry scientists that aims to boost selective breeding of stocks of vital UK aquaculture species European lobster, European flat oyster, lumpfish and Atlantic salmon – four species of economic and environmental importance for the UK.

Researchers will work closely with industry partners to identify sustainable solutions to current challenges facing aquaculture production, including significant diseases.

The interdisciplinary consortium is led by The Roslin Institute in partnership with the Universities of Aberdeen, Exeter and Stirling, and Cefas. The commercial partners are Hendrix Genetics BV, Xelect Ltd, The National Lobster Hatchery, Tethys Oysters Ltd., and Otter Ferry SeaFish Ltd. With additional co-funding from the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC).

ROBUST SMOLT: Impact of early life history in freshwater recirculation aquaculture systems on Atlantic salmon robustness & susceptibility to disease at sea

Characterising the impacts of freshwater environmental conditions on post-smolt performance and robustness at sea, providing new knowledge and tools to monitor and enhance farming efficiency and reliability, fish health, and sector productivity and sustainability.

The consortium is led by the University of Stirling, with the Universities of Aberdeen, Exeter and The Roslin Institute, and Cefas, MOWI, Scottish Salmon Company, Cooke Aquaculture Scotland, BioMar, PHARMAQ, SAIC, and Scottish Salmon Producers Association (SSPO).

Environment Offshore: Evaluating the environmental conditions required for the development of offshore aquaculture.

Developing a better scientific understanding of the potential benefits and risks of the development of offshore aquaculture.

It is being led by SAMS, with the Universities of Stirling and Exeter, and partnering with MOWI, Marine Scotland Science, Crowne Estate Scotland, Willis Towers Watson.