September 16, 2016


Mucosal mapping method wins GAA innovation award



Norway's Quantidoc AS is the winner of the Global Aquaculture Alliance's (GAA) fourth annual Preferred Freezer Services Global Aquaculture Innovation & Leadership Award.


University of Bergen Prof. Karin Pittman (pictured below) will accept the award for Quantidoc's mucosal mapping technology at GAA's GOAL 2016 conference at the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou, China, on Thursday, Sept. 22. She will give a presentation after being presented with a plaque and a US$1,000 cash prize.


Quantidoc is the commercialisation of Pittman's fish biology research, which employs stereology to measure and better understand mucous on gill, gut and skin tissues-the first line of defense for fish. These tissues are crucial in the fight against aquatic diseases and parasites like sea lice, a major challenge for the salmon farming industry.


The application was submitted by Quantidoc CEO Ole Jacob Myre. Quantidoc is a commercially functioning unit, not just an idea.


"We are very pleased and proud to receive this award from GAA, because the goal of the program aligns with ours, namely providing the solid basis for a sustainable aquaculture industry," said Pittman. "If we can strengthen the barrier tissues of skin, gills and guts, then all our animals will grow better and with better health. Mucosal mapping is a very good addition to the aquaculture toolbox, and we look forward to using it to help farmers raise healthy animals."


"Quantidoc's technology for non-sacrificial evaluation of the health status of fish is a valuable new tool to improve the management of disease, a primary factor limiting the growth of aquaculture," said GAA President George Chamberlain, one of the four judges.


This is the third consecutive year that Preferred Freezer Services has sponsored the award. GAA-an international, nonprofit trade association dedicated to advancing environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture-established the award in 2012 to recognise those who are finding new solutions to the challenges faced by aquaculture as well as those who provide the leadership required to champion such developments in responsible aquaculture.


This year, GAA received eight applications for the award. Four of the nominations were for forward-thinking individuals whose leadership advanced an aquaculture-related cause. Two involved advancements in shrimp breeding, while another nomination involved seaweed bacterial engineering resulting in a bacterial supplement that reduces the need for antibiotics and increases production and survivability in farmed shrimp.


Last year's recipient was Werner Jost, director of Camanor Produtos Marinhos Ltda. in Brazil. Camanor's AquaScience® technology and its high-density, land-based facility in Natal, Brazil, recycles water for multiple production cycles while preventing environmental degradation and the use of chemicals or antibiotics. The 2014 recipient was Rodrigo Prado, a civil engineer and director of USONIC Ltda. in Puerto Montt, Chile, and the 2013 recipient was Dr. Amir Sagi, a professor at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.
Prof. Karin Pittman
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