The unit houses some of the largest marine experimental facilities in the UK, with tank ranging from 3 litre aquaria to 160 m3 GCS units, and has extensive photoperiod and temperature controlled multi-replicate experimental tank systems. In 2005 the unit was acquired by Viking Fish Farms Ltd, a commercial fish farming company and research organization, which continues to carry out both in-house and publicly funded research in marine aquaculture whilst also producing commercial quantities turbot, ballan wrasse, and sea urchin juveniles; native and Pacific oyster spat; and seaweeds, which are sold to farmers in the UK and elsewhere.
Recent and current research projects have been supported by funds from Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Lochaber Enterprise, the UK Seafish Industry Authority, the EU Northern Periphery Programme, EU FP7 and commercial SME’s (fish farms, feed companies, pharmaceutical suppliers). The unit has been licensed by the UK Home Office as an approved fish research facility.
Dr. Tim Atack: Co-owner and Managing Director, he has been involved in commercial aquaculture and aquaculture project development since 1978. From 1978 to 1999 he was R&D and project development manager for the UK consultancy company, Fish Farm Development International Ltd. In 1999 he moved to Greece as General Production Manager for Seafarm Ionian, one of the largest fish farming companies in the Mediterranean. Over these years, Tim has been responsible for large aquaculture farms and has been involved in the design and construction of several offshore sea bream and sea bass cage farms in the Mediterranean. His other areas of expertise include the full economic evaluation of proposed and existing aquaculture operations and the development of growth models for aquaculture species. He also has a good understanding of aquaculture engineering, the environmental impact assessment of aquaculture operations and marketing and sales of aquaculture products. As well as running the financial and personnel management of AML, he is presently in charge of all its fish, shellfish and seaweed hatchery production operations, and all its EU funded R&D projects.
Dr. James Treasurer: Research scientist and co-owner, with substantial general experience and a record in fish health, reproduction, rearing, age and growth, modeling of daily food intake and growth, water quality and impacts on fishes, and field and laboratory testing of medicines in a commercial environment. Supervision of experimental studies in fish health and feeding, and latterly in marine finfish farming. He was a pioneer in the development of use of cleaner fish as a means of sea lice control on salmonid farms, and has also been involved in the testing of novel therapeutants. Projects with which he is presently involved include the captive spawning and rearing of ballan and goldsinny wrasse; the use of wrasse to control sea lice on salmon; collection and development of a captive hake broodstock; disinfection of live feeds; development of integrated (salmon/seaweed/urchin) aquaculture systems; live transport of marine finfish; and benchmarking fish welfare standards.