A SCOTTISH aquaculture technology business has hailed a major link-up with a growing sustainable fish producer to sit alongside Scottish staples like salmon and cod.

Dundee-based Ace Aquatec has secured a significant contract with Regal Springs, one of the world’s largest premium tilapia producers, after it experienced a surge in global demand for the species said to be set to take a place amongst the UK’s current favourites.

Regal Springs claimed the sustainably raised fish is proven to be "good for forming part of a healthy balanced diet as it is high in protein but low in calories, fats and cholesterol".

Regal Springs said it has collaborated with aquaculture technology specialists Ace Aquatec to use its in-water stunner as it is driven by "a desire to continuously develop welfare, feed initiatives and low impact and low-density lake farming best-practices".

READ MORE: Scottish salmon farm pilots £1m sustainability platform

The firm said it ensures Regal Springs tilapia, a freshwater fish originating in Africa and the iddle East and popular around the world including the US, is harvested “humanely and effectively”.

The new stunning technology has helped Regal Springs to streamline its operations whilst coping with the growing commercial demands in a sustainable way, it said.

Regal Springs also said that with significant advances being made in the fishing market globally it has become a precondition for many UK supermarkets to only stock responsibly sourced products.

Demand for sustainable sourcing is growing and consumers and retailers alike want to feel confident that the fish they are buying is humanely stunned at harvest, the firm said, adding that research has shown that nine in ten global consumer prioritise buying from companies that have ethical sourcing strategies in place with 83% willing to spend more on a product if they are certain.

HeraldScotland: Petra Weigl said Regal Springs’ certifications are testament to the quality it offersPetra Weigl said Regal Springs’ certifications are testament to the quality it offers

Petra Weigl, Regal Springs’ managing director for Europe, said: “Sustainability has been at the heart of our Regal Springs business since the beginning over 30 years ago and in the spirit of continuous improvement we stand proud of pioneering new ways here with fish welfare; our new technology not only ensures better treatment of the fish but helps deliver a superior quality product through reduced stress levels in the catchment process.

“Of course, retailers can be confident in accessing the very best in Tilapia fish protein made viable through the way we raise and now harvest the fish - our ASC and BAP certifications being testament to the quality we offer.”

HeraldScotland: It is claimed Regal Springs’ tilapia addresses customer demand for humanely sourced fish. Picture: Getty ImagesIt is claimed Regal Springs’ tilapia addresses customer demand for humanely sourced fish. Picture: Getty Images

Nathan Pyne-Carter, chief executive of Ace Aquatec, said: “Over the past few years, we’ve seen tilapia continue to gain a lot of global traction so we’re delighted to be working alongside Regal Springs who share the ethos of responsibly safeguarding fish welfare.

“Global exports for Ace Aquatec’s in-water electric stunning system have grown rapidly across the UK, Europe and APAC in both sea-based and land-based facilities.

"It not only reduces stress to the fish at the point of harvest but improves fish welfare and overall product quality.

"UK consumers can have peace of mind knowing that the tilapia reared by Regal Springs has been raised to the highest standards.”