University of Stirling

Leading aquaculture work for sustainable food production

Pioneering work in the development of sustainable fish and water-based food production with important global outreach.

The internationally renowned Institute of Aquaculture (IoA) at the University of Stirling was founded in 1971. It is currently one of the largest and leading centres globally for its pioneering work on farmed and natural fish stocks, shellfish, and plants in water – the fastest-growing sector in global food production. IoA experts are working to tackle global problems of food security, hunger and sustainability through aquaculture and have a global reputation for teaching, world-class research, technological innovation and consultancy within the sector.

The Institute promotes a holistic approach to sustainable fish production and is helping shape government policies as well as playing an important role in global food supply. This in turn addresses the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework exercise, 80% of the Institute’s research activity was rated world-leading or internationally excellent and since that date it has hosted the Scottish Government-funded Aquaculture Innovation Centre.

Over the last ten years, some 3,500 students, including many from overseas, have completed under- and postgraduate degree courses at the Institute. The wide-ranging specialised applied research includes the control of puberty in farmed fish, improving tilapia stocks in Bangladesh, the use of ‘cleaner fish’ to remove sea lice from farmed salmon, and the development of the local mangrove oyster industry in Sierra Leone – an important source of employment and income for local women.