Skretting ARC’s new Health Manager, Charles McGurk, comes from Scotland and is a veterinary surgeon with a PhD in fish health.
According to Charles McGurk, his new appointment as Health Manager in Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre (ARC) is one of the world’s most exciting jobs in fish health.
“Feed that promotes health is becoming a more widespread and important part of aquaculture, such as in the battle against PD. We have only seen the beginning of a development that it is very inspiring to be involved in”, McGurk said.
Expanding the department
Improved fish health through feed is a priority area in Skretting ARC. There are currently six people in the department, but one of the first tasks for the new manager will be to increase the team to eight.
“The principle of health-promoting feeds is to find ingredients that stimulate and enhance natural processes in the fish, both in health feed and standard feed. This means that we achieve greater flexibility as regards raw ingredients, improved fish health and welfare and less use of medicines. This is good for sustainability, reputation and profitability”, he said.
Our next main priority will be combatting lice.
“How can we prevent life infestation?”
"We are trying to understand the fish’s natural barriers and are looking for ingredients that can strengthen these. For example, the skin, mucous layer and gills, and perhaps other characteristics of the immune system are important in the battle against lice."
Within Skretting there is a global fish health network that maintains regular contact and exchanges experiences and information.
“Skretting ARC cooperates with Skretting’s feed production plants world-wide. Together they encompass a large number of species and conditions, and this cooperation supplements and corrects the research with a practical approach. As Skretting is part of Nutreco, we also cooperate with colleagues in the animal agricultural industry”, McGurk said.
“Feed that promotes health has a great future. It is inspiring and motivating to work with and Skretting ARC is one of the best research centres in the world. Need I say that I’m excited?” Skretting’s new Fish Health Manager asked.