SAIC: Two industry experts on board

An innovation centre which supports the £1.8 billion aquaculture sector in Scotland has appointed two industry experts to its board.

Alison Hutchins, farming director at trout firm Dawnfresh Farming, and Michael Tait, managing director at Shetland Mussels, have joined the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), bringing more than 35 years’ experience between them.

They join a 10-strong board made up of members from industry, academia, and observers from the Scottish Funding Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Dawnfresh Farming Director: Allison Hutchins

Based in Argyll, Hutchins has 17 years’ experience in aquaculture working across organisations such as the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and The Scottish Salmon Company. Hutchins has a strong understanding of regulatory processes, as well as developing strategies for site development and business growth.

She said: “This is an exciting time to be involved in the aquaculture industry in Scotland. Over the years I have worked hard to attract funding, encourage innovation and ensure the kind of growth the industry in this country is capable of.

“Boosting diversity across all areas of Scottish aquaculture is one of the key areas of importance to me, and I look forward to contributing to this further on the board of SAIC.”

Shetland Mussels Operations Director: Michael Tait

Tait, an experienced director and entrepreneur, who has been the chairman of the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group since 2012 and built Shetland Mussels into the UK’s second largest producer of mussels, said he hoped that he can help the SAIC continue to assist the industry in unlocking its full potential, especially in rural areas like Shetland, where he is based.

He expressed that “Helping SAIC to tackle the challenges we face as an industry is an opportunity I am keen to grasp”.

Tait worked on behalf of the shellfish sector to contribute to the aquaculture industry’s Vision 2030 growth strategy.

He added: “I’m sure my SME and shellfish-sector experience will enhance the board’s existing knowledge and bring a fresh perspective to its thinking.”

SAIC Chairman: David Gregory

“Our aim is to bring the best individuals on board to support innovation projects and ultimately sustain and grow aquaculture in Scotland,” said SAIC chairman David Gregory.
Adding that, Hutchins and Taits’ broad skillsets bring different backgrounds and experiences to the SAIC board, which will add hugely to its ongoing efforts.
Gregory concluded, “it’s absolutely vital we have the skills and talent in place to grow that figure and maximise the industry’s potential”.

Editor: AquacultureList

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