The University Austral de Chile has appointed fish behavior and welfare specialist Dr. Sunil Kadri as honorary adjunct professor, as part of its ambition to develop closer links with the aquaculture industry.
Dr. Kadri will be involved in teaching and research activities that will focus on improving the understanding of fish behavior and welfare in the increasingly technological aquaculture sector.
“Dr. Kadri’s aquaculture credentials are impeccable. He understands both academia and the industry better than most. His participation will help bring us closer together,” said Profesora Marianne Werner, of the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences at Universidad Austral de Chile.
Dr. Kadri, who is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Stirling and has a Ph.D. in fish behavior from the University of Glasgow, will both teach and participate in fish welfare and behavior research in partnership with his fellow academics in Chile.
“We expect our collaborative efforts to enhance our shared understanding of the aquaculture industry’s challenges, which in turn will ensure ongoing and future research programs are developed and designed in ways that also benefit the farmed fish as welfare standards improve,” said Dr. Kadri, Director of International Business Development in Bluegrove’s subsidiary CageEye.
Aquatech company Bluegrove offers farmers acoustic sensors and sophisticated underwater cameras and lights, that are used to gather information about fish behavior on a large scale. Combining the datasets gathered from the sensors with smart algorithms helps farmers optimize feeding to meet their targets.
Kadri believes modern technology applications like these will disrupt aquaculture and will affect the way fish behavior and welfare are being analyzed and researched.
Academia seeking insight and industry playing the role of the pragmatic innovator of practical solutions complement each other, according to Dr. Kadri, who is himself a member of the
Aquaculture Innovation Club in Chile, for whom he recently delivered a public webinar on “Disruptive Technologies Shaping Aquaculture Sustainability”
“On the one hand, innovation can come in the form of digital ecosystems, such as automated feeding equipment governed by artificial intelligence algorithms that are informed by data from sophisticated sensors. Equally, innovation can be more organic and result in the development of new ideas such as the cultivation of microalgae, or modifying standard agricultural crops as alternative sustainable sources of omega3 for use in salmon feed,” said Dr. Kadri.
“We are very happy to have Sunil Kadri as representative of Bluegrove in Chile and as a member of Club Innovacion Acuicola, contributing with his knowledge and extensive experience in disruptive, emerging, and high-impact technologies in sustainable aquaculture. As a Club, we seek to strengthen collaborative innovation between our members and in the national aquaculture industry. Therefore having Sunil greatly supports our incentive to disruptive innovations that will reshape the future of our activities to harness great opportunities as they arise in the industry” said Adolfo Alvial, Executive Director, Club Innovación Acuícola.
Research about fish health and welfare is becoming increasingly important, as the awareness for animal wellbeing is rising, from a consumer and regulatory perspective.
“Our joint objective is to create a sustainable aquaculture sector that respects the needs of the fish, that minimizes or eliminates pollution, and that operates in accordance with ecological principles. This is the kind of aquaculture industry the world will need to maintain,” said Kadri.