THE University of Stirling has forged a link with a Chinese institution in the field of aquaculture with a joint laboratory.

An agreement with Ningbo University will see staff and students collaborate on research and teaching projects while sharing knowledge.

It was signed on behalf of the Scottish side by Professor Herve Migaud, head of the Breeding and Stock Improvement Research Group, who shook hands with Professor Chun-Lin Wang, dean of the School of Marine Sciences and head of the Genetic Research Group at Ningbo.

In addition, Professor Migaud has been appointed Distinguished Professor by the Zhejiang Province and he will collaborate on developing research and teaching activities over the next three years.

He said: “I am delighted by the opportunity to develop a long-term partnership between Stirling and Ningbo on aquaculture research and training, and address some of the main global food security challenges faced by a growing human population.

“This is an honour to have been selected and awarded by the Zhejiang Province’s Thousand Talents Plan and offered the opportunity to engage with colleagues at Ningbo.

“This award is a great opportunity to connect, innovate and transform as it aims to develop a deep and mutually-beneficial partnership with Ningbo and its partners in China, the first aquaculture producer in the world, through new innovative teaching courses and research programs in a region of the globe where food security, resilience and sustainability have never been so critical.”

His counterpart, Professor Wang, added: “Food security is the common goal for people all over the world.

“As a food source, aquatic products provide nutritious high-quality proteins for human consumption, and aquaculture is making an increasing contribution to global food security.

“The establishment of a joint laboratory for aquaculture by the two institutes in China and the United Kingdom will not only promote academic exchanges between the two sides, but also support the sustainable development of the aquaculture industry.”

Research will initially focus on breeding, genetic improvement, nutrition and health of species that are important commercially in the Chinese province.

These include the swimming crab, large yellow croaker, pomfret and cuttlefish.