In April 2015 the final year BSc (Hons) Aquaculture and Fishery Management students of Sparsholt College are heading to north Spain on study tour, thanks to funded research carried out for the UKâ€™s largest fish feed producer, Skretting. For the last eight weeks the group have been testing eight different trout diet formulations in the fantastic facilities of the new Salmonid Rearing and Trials Centre.
This research is of massive importance to the industry because food is the biggest cost in fish farming, so small improvements in growth or food conversion can give huge economic gains. All the trial feeding, husbandry and performance analysis of the fish has been done by the students. This included testing the trout at the end of the trial for shape, colour, fat level and most importantly, taste!
Now the trial has completed successfully, Skretting have promised a Â£6,000 donation towards the cost of the study tour. This will enable the group to fly to Galicia in north-west Spain and the magnificent city of La Coruna. Visits are planned to sea bream, turbot and shellfish farms which are totally different to UK operations, as well as a fish farming school and an early morning visit to the La Coruna fish market.
Between these visits there should be plenty of opportunity to go fishing, to swim in the sea and to sample the Spanish cuisine and culture. The north west of Spain is stunningly picturesque yet unspoilt by tourism. This trip will be the perfect reward for the excellent research carried out by the group.