Students gain real industry experience on and off-site that is underpinned by the high level of technical content to prepare them for a range of careers or Master’s level study. With our own Salmonid rearing centre we are at the forefront in many research/feed programmes at the heart of the industry.

Fish Feed Diets

The sustainability of intensive aquaculture depends on the development of cost-effective diets that are not reliant on the finite resources of fish oil and fishmeal.

Two recent research projects we have undertaken at our fish feed trial facilities are:

  • An economic assessment of feeds with varied energy content for portion-sized rainbow trout, Oncorhyncus mykiss
  • An investigation into the use of land animal proteins as a replacement for fishmeal in diets for carp, Cyprinus carpio

The Impact of Pharmaceuticals in Aquatic Ecosystems

The occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the aquatic environment is increasing. Concentrations of pharmaceuticals discharged by sewage treatment works effluent do not generally pose acute toxic risk but may have chronic effects on physiology and behavioural end points. Fish embryos are a valid model species because they are particularly susceptible to toxins and yet cannot physically evade the discharge points.

This study investigated the effects of a range of pharmaceuticals (named propranolol and fluoxetine) on the mortality and development of zebrafish embryos.

  • Invasive amphipod species – the reasons for their success – Adrian Love (Institute for Fishery Management Conference)

    Invasive non-native species management – lessons from UK freshwaters. Marine Protected Areas. Science, Policy & management – Pegg J, Hide D.E and Love A.C. 2017. 15th – 17th May 2017. Poole, UK

    Frequency of intersex phenotypes of Gammarus pulex (Amphipoda) upstream and downstream from effluent of sewage treatment works – Adrian Love, Neil Crooks and Alex T. Ford (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Conference, Nantes)

    Protecting marine fish stocks through more sustainable aquaculture; a review of insect meal as a protein source in fish farming Fisheries Management in Estuarine and Coastal Waters – Vorkapits K, Hide D.E, and Pegg J. 2018. 23rd – 24th May 2018 Lancaster, UK.

    Sewage treatment works’ effluent affects activity of Gammarus pulex (Amphipoda) – Adrian Love, Neil Crooks and Alex T. Ford (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Conference, Nantes)

    The effect of ‘liming’ as a technique to mitigate acidification upon the macroinvertebrates of the river Fleet catchment – Galloway Scotland, Antonio Couto (Institute for Fishery Management Conference)

    Using student scientists to fill research gaps: A case study in Chichester harbour. Fisheries Management in Estuarine and Coastal Waters – Pegg J, Nelson K. and Hide D.E. 2018. 23rd – 24th May 2018 Lancaster, UK.

    Norley, S and Love, A. (2020) The effect of Virkon® Aquatic on the bacterial count of Artemia cultures – Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research, Vol 8(1) : 72 – 75.

    • Annual survey conducted in conjunction with The National Trust at Mottisfont to assess the impact of habitat management on diversity of fish stocks – now in its 8th year this is producing one of the largest and most unique sets of data available in England.
    • A survey undertaken with Portsmouth Services Fly Fishing Association to assess the impact of river restocking and population migration, all brown trout stocked into the River Meon by PSFFA are marked to enable identification on capture. Working with the anglers on the river it is possible to track the movement of fish after they have been introduced to the river.
    • A feed trial that combines two industry contacts is carried out on behalf of Coppens and Hampshire Carp Hatcheries each year to look at the efficacy of particular feed formulations. This has included goldfish nutrition, high specification diets on mirror carp production and the inclusion of distillers wheat pellets on carp growth rates.

    Fish feed trials with a range of manufacturers supplying the salmon and trout industry have looked at:

    • Inclusion of vegetable protein vs. fish meal
    • Inclusion of vegetable oil vs. fish oil (Ω3 vs Ω6)
    • New formulations using fishmeal from fish processing waste
    • Comparison with industry competitors
    • Pigmentation additives
    • Ration rates
    • Palatability
    • Taste and carcase quality

    Biosecurity is a key element of good management on any fishery or aquaculture facility and trials are currently underway on a new disinfectant prior to its release onto the market.

    The Aquatics industry is a huge market and research and trials are conducted on new products in conjunction with a range of manufacturers; these have included:

    • Filter developments
    • Lighting
    • Aquarium set-up and design
    • Feed trials
    • European Eel Strobe Deterrent Flume Trials
    • The Impacts of Inserting Woody Debris on Fish Populations River Great Stour Kent
    • Effects of oil content and fishmeal quality on cyprinus carpio growth
    • Xenoestrogens from plastics in aquatic systems
    • Trialling a novel method of control of the parasite argulus sp.
    • Testing the effect of magnetic water on fish growth and pigmentation
    • Assessing shell production in marine prawns
    • Retention and catch rate of stocked brown trout in the river Meon
    • The effect of phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) found in watercress (Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum) on rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) hatch rates and alevin morphology