Stuart Fitzsimmons

Section Leader - Aquaculture Training content

Section Leader - Aquaculture Training

Tel: 01595 772103

Specialities/Research Interests/Skills

Stuart is involved in the delivery of aquaculture training courses including SVQ Level 2 and 3 for the Modern Apprenticeship in aquaculture. He is also delivers relevant short courses such Powerboat Level 2, fish health, sea lice identification and salmon feeding & nutrition. He has extensive aquatic and terrestrial environmental management experience.

Brief History

Stuart completed his undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in fisheries biology at University of Queensland prior to moving to Shetland.He first started in freshwater aquaculture in Shetland in 1995 rearing smolts in both flow-through and intensive recirculation hatcheries. It was a very challenging and rewarding position and a sharp learning curve in relation to salmon production in Shetland. In 2001, Stuart commenced work with NAFC Marine Centre as the Aquaculture Sciences Co-ordinator. His position entailed co-ordinating research on marine species such as cod, halibut, lobsters and wolf-fish plus other species such as sea urchins and trout. He also developed and delivered teaching units for the MSc in Aquaculture Science & Technology. The summer months also involved rearing juvenile lobsters for restocking in conjunction with local fisherman around the Shetland coastline. The marine hatchery was also involved in training work placement students in aquaculture from many parts of the world. One of Stuart’s main interest is in fish diseases and he has many years practical experience with wide range of salmonid diseases both in freshwater and marine.

Stuart was then employed in a cod hatchery by No Catch as the juvenile supervisor before returning to Australia. In Australia, he retrained in environmental management and after completing an aquatic surveying contract project for the State Government he worked as Principle Officer (nature conservation) and Branch Manager in planning and policy in local government for nearly four years. He was involved in many development projects and environmental impact assessments.

Since returning to Shetland he worked as senior husbandry person with Scottish Sea Farms for four years before returning to the NAFC in 2014. In total, Stuart has 17 years aquaculture experience in Shetland and 4 years environmental management experience. Stuart has written 12 research publications and numerous government strategies and policies.