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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.

  • Recent Research Titles

    Invasive amphipod species – the reasons for their success – Adrian Love (Institute for Fishery Management 2016 Conference)

    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 2016 Conference, Nantes)

    Sewage treatment works’ effluent affects activity of Gammarus pulex (Amphipoda) – Adrian Love, Neil Crooks and Alex T. Ford (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 2016 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 2016 Conference)

  • Collaborative Research in Fishery Studies

    • 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 7th 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
  • 2014/15 Dissertation topics

    • The effect of weed cutting on the invertebrate population in a chalk stream
    • An investigation into the effects of pharmaceutical drugs on Gammarus
    • A comparison of the effectiveness of different net disinfection methods
    • The effect of dietary fat level and source on the taste and carcass quality of rainbow trout
    • A comparison of the effectiveness of different net disinfection methods
    • The effect of artificial vegetation on aquatic invertebrate populations
    • A trial to investigate carp growth performance and  feed utilisation when fed 3 commercial diets
    • Does the implementation of instream enhancement for brown trout affect invertebrate abundance in a chalk stream
    • Growth of Tilapia and lettuce fed with three different diets: mealworm, maggot meal and a commercial feed in an aquaponics system
    • An investigation into the use of HF60 fish protein hydrolysate as a feed ingredient for carp
    • An investigation into angler capture rates and movement of farmed brown trout stocked into a chalk stream fishery
    • A comparison of fungal treatments on Aspergillus
    • An investigation into the effects of varying ammonia and nitrite concentrations on bio-filter maturation
    • A feed trial to investigate the use of bi-product proteins in tilapia diets
    • An investigation into the effects of essential oils on the bacterial contamination on Artemia
    • Effects of CWD on local brown trout pop. structure in a headwater chalk stream
    • An investigation into commercial feed alternatives for carp 


Successful research funds trip to Spain

Our BSc (Hons) Aquaculture and Fishery Management students are heading off on a study tour, thanks to £6,000 sponsorship from the fish feed producer, Skretting. The students undertook successful research for the feed company at our new Salmonid Trials Centre. As a reward the group will fly to the stunningly picturesque North West Spain, with visits to fish and shellfish farms which are totally different to UK operations.