The Fish Veterinary Society is now a Specialist (non-territorial) Division of the British Veterinary Association and engages in a wide range of activities, including:
- holding two scientific meetings per year, at which a number of invited speakers present papers on a range of fish-related subjects
- publishing the Fish Veterinary Journal, which contains scientific papers, short communications and proceedings of scientific and other meetings.
- representing members' and FVS interests to public bodies, government departments, industry, etc.
- publishing policy documents to help its members and others understand the veterinary viewpoint on subjects relating to fish health and welfare
- acting as a forum for discussion
- maintaining a web site to enable the more rapid spread of information
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Aquaculture plays a key role in UK and worldwide food security, providing high quality protein and lipids essential for a healthy human diet (NHS 2012). The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations provides a clear picture of the importance of aquaculture (FAO 2012). Against a backdrop of declining wild fish stocks aquaculture has been one of the fastest growing food production sectors for more than 40 years. It is the only food production sector growing faster than human population and provides 47% of the aquatic food in the human diet. Globally aquaculture produced more than 59.9 million tonnes of food for humans in 2010 with a value of more than £77.1 billion and aquatic products are the world’s largest traded food commodity. In the UK salmon farming alone produced more than 154,164 tonnes in 2010 with a worldwide retail value of over £1 billion making it Scotland’s larges agricultural export and a very significant UK agricultural export (SSPO 2012). Fish as cold-blooded animals have very efficient food conversion (<1:1 for dry food to wet weight) and advances in feeding have made production more sustainable and less reliant on marine food sources whilst maintaining the nutritional value of the end product (e.g. Bell, et al., 2010). In addition to aquaculture wild fisheries and angling represent a major source of income and employment in the UK often in vulnerable rural communities. Anglers have been estimated to spend up to £1.18 billion per annum in England and Wales (Radford, et al., 2007).
In more general terms the vast majority of living space on the planet and is aquatic and fish represent more than half of all vertebrate species. Aquatic environments are essential to many ecosystems and a key natural resource in the UK. In research fish are the most numerous experimental animal after mice with the zebra fish becoming increasingly important as a laboratory animal model in the 21st century (Home Office 2010).
NHS 2012 - http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/eight-tips-healthy-eating.aspx
FAO (2012) The state of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2012. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations, Rome, 2012 .
Scottish Salmon Producer’s Organisation - http://www.scottishsalmon.co.uk/facts_figures/index.aspx
Bell JG, Pratoomyot J, Strachan F, Henderson RJ, Fontanillas R, Hebard A, Guy DR, Hunter D, Tocher DR. 2010. Influence of genotype/phenotype of on effects of on replacement of dietary fish oil with
vegetable oils in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) families/strains selected on the basis of flesh adiposity: growth, flesh proximate and fatty acid compositions. Aquaculture 306, 225-232.
Radford A., Riddington, G. and Gibson, H. (2007) The economic impact of freshwater angling in England & Wales. The Environment Agency Science Report – SC050026/SR2
Home Office (2010) Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2009, Presented to Parliament pursuant to section 21(7) of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986
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