Aquaculture industry welcomes return of aqua show to the highlands
Scottish aquaculture companies have shown their pleasure at having a major aquaculture exhibition and conference taking place in May at Aviemore by booking all the available exhibition space.
Tain based company, Ascomber Ltd, have organised the UK’s most important aquaculture exhibition and located it in the Highlands, where it belongs, after a gap of 12 years. In 1996 a predecessor event was taken over by a multinational publishing company who moved it to the SECC at Glasgow and merged it with a fishing exhibition. The move did not prove popular with some exhibitors who felt that a show of this kind should be closer to where the industry was based.
So in response to exhibitor demand for a cost effective show based in the centre of the fish farming industry, Ascomber set up this new successor event, Aquaculture UK 2008, at Aviemore.
The move has been received with great enthusiasm by the industry such that Aquaculture UK 2008 is a sell-out. All the original stand space has been booked as has temporary extra capacity. The organisers, Ascomber Ltd, visited the site in late February and established that they could double the temporary space. Some of that was immediately booked and Ascomber expect it will all go as a large number of companies are still expressing interest in exhibiting.
The conference will be officially opened by the Minister for the Environment in the Scottish Government, Michael Russell, at 10.00 on the 21st May 2008.
The associated conference programme is not completely finalised but will have three themes: fish welfare, shellfish and feed and operating issues. Speakers will come from companies in the industry, academia and NGOs. For example speakers from Freedom Food, Compassion In World Farming, EWOS, the Wellfish Project, and equipment suppliers, a vet and a farmer will contribute their different perspectives to the welfare session.
"The exhibition and conference are being held in the new, modern Aviemore Resort and Conference Centre which has been totally rebuilt since the last aqua exhibition there in the 90s. Back then that event was held in the old ice rink, long since demolished, and those who were there then well remember having to dash outside every now and then to warm up their feet as the stands had been erected on the ice with just a sheet of chipboard as insulation.
As well as the conference halls the resort has three hotels, shops, leisure facilities & restaurants, all just a few steps from the exhibition. These facilities were lacking in the 90s", said Mr Mack.
Exhibitors from over 10 countries will be attending and visitors from all over the world are expected.
A noticeable trend is the appearance for the first time, as exhibitors, several new, hi-tech, companies offering new technologies and systems.