AquaTT Training News - Newsletter 14 2017

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23 January 2020
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Training News is a free e-mail news service provided by AquaTT on education, training, news and events in marine science, aquaculture and related sectors. The newsletter currently reaches more than 5,000 international recipients on a monthly basis. Please submit any relevant information for inclusion in next month's edition to Please CLICK HERE to go to the archives of AquaTT Training News and Announcements.



Student Corner




For information on all educational opportunities (courses, workshops, etc.), as well as general events (conferences, meetings, etc.) please refer to the AquaTT Announcement newsletter which is sent out with Training News, as well as the AquaTT Calendar.




Richard Fitzgerald Award for Best Poster at Environ 2017

Richard Fitzgerald was one of the founding fathers of AquaTT and was involved in aquaculture research and development for almost 30 years before his death in December 2016. Richard helped submit the application for EU funding to establish AquaTT, and was also the first chairman of the board. He was an excellent researcher, a gifted and inspiring lecturer and extremely generous with his time, especially with students and colleagues.   MG 8120

To honour his legacy, his wife, Professor Frances Lucy, decided to create an award in his honour. Sponsored by AquaTT, the Richard Fitzgerald award is a prize for the best poster in Aquatic Environment and will be handed out annually at Environ, the Irish environmental researchers’ colloquium.

Daithí Maguire of National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) is the first winner of the Richard Fitzgerald prize. His poster presentation entitled 'The application of Copernicus satellite-borne remote sensors for monitoring coastal erosion in Ireland' received the prize at Environ 2017, which was hosted by Athlone Institute of Technology in joint partnership with the Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland (ESAI).

Richard Fitzgerald Award

Professor Frances Lucy, Chair of the ESAI, presented Mr Maguire with a cheque of €250 at the prizegiving. Mr Maguire also received a 12-month subscription to the Journal 'Biology and Environment', sponsored by the Royal Irish Academy (RIA).

More than 280 people attended Environ 2017 and there were over 100 oral presentations and 50 poster presentations over the three days. Environ 2018 will be hosted by Cork Institute of Technology.

To view more information on the winning poster, and to read about more awards supported by AquaTT, please visit the AquaTT Awards Page.


New Infographic on Plastics in the Marine Environment Developed by the Sea Change Project

The Sea Change project has developed an infographic summarising the issues surrounding plastic in the marine environment. 

Sea Change is a three-year EU Horizon 2020-funded project that is establishing a fundamental “Sea Change” in the way European citizens view their relationship with the ocean by increasing Ocean Literacy throughout society.

This infographic illustrates how making a small change in our everyday lives, can achieve big results in helping to protect the ocean. It outlines the extent of the marine plastics problem with hard-hitting facts such as “more than 8 million tonnes of plastic waste enters the ocean every year ≈ one truckload every minute” and includes simple tips on how we can play our part in helping to protect the ocean. 

The resource is currently being used as part of the 'Our Ocean Our Health' campaign to encourage people to take action and “Make a Sea Change” for the ocean. It will also be used across Europe during Sea Change outreach events including activities for European Maritime Day and World Oceans Day.

The graphic has been translated into Dutch and more translations will be available in the near future. 

To make your own pledge to make a sea change, visit:

Sea Change recently released the first video in a series highlighting these issues, with this first production highlighting how we can make a difference in our plastic use in the bathroom. The video can be found on YouTube.

Share your ideas and experiences on Twitter and Facebook using #OurOceanOurHealth.

For more information on the Sea Change project, see: 

Sea Change infographic english


Sea Change Ocean Literacy Event to be Held at the Nisa Marathon in the Czech Republic


iQLandia, a third party member in the Sea Change project, is organising a project event as part of the 17th Nisa Marathon, an annual canoe race on the river Nisa in Liberec, the Czech Republic on 3 June 2017. The event’s tradition and past success will bring together many participants and visitors.

Sea Change is a three-year EU Horizon 2020 funded project that aims to establish a fundamental “Sea Change” in the way European citizens view their relationship with the ocean. 

At the event, a communication stand will be set up near the finishing line where iQLandia will be demonstrating experiments to show the connection between humans and nature. iQLandia will engage the audience, focusing on the connection of inland areas and the ocean by pointing out interlinked aspects of hydrology. iQLandia will also highlight the importance of having a healthy ocean, even for inland countries, by communicating the ways in which the ocean supports the quality of human life.

iQLandia will also organise a pop-up exhibition displaying the level of change that has occurred in recent decades, and how the river landscape has transformed. During the day, a Sea Change team will conduct a cleaning of the banks of the river, and materials collected will be used to create a “work of art”.

Sea Change will be also present at the final ceremony, where winners of the canoe race will be announced. Sport enthusiasts and water sportspeople will feed their ideas into the event planning and take an active part in promoting environmentally responsible behaviour during a preparatory workshop.

For more information on the Sea Change project, visit:


New COLUMBUS Project Guide Released: ‘Use and Sharing of Marine Observations and Data by Industry’ 

A new guide has been published as part of the Horizon 2020 COLUMBUS project. The guide, titled ‘Use and sharing of marine observations and data by industry’, aims to aid public ocean observing and data initiatives to engage with Blue Growth industries.

Col1The European Union provides substantial investment in marine monitoring and observation, data sharing and assembly, as well as downstream services. This has led to significant progress in collecting, aggregating and making publicly available the data and information derived from monitoring and observing our European seas and oceans. This guide explores the issues of why effective engagement of industry with marine observatories and related data-sharing initiatives is being stagnated.

Primarily aimed at European marine observatories and public data-sharing initiatives, but also valuable to companies and other stakeholders operating in the blue economy, the guide in its entirety can be found here.

For more information on the COLUMBUS project, contact Cliona Ni Cheallachain, AquaTT, at



Marine Knowledge Transfer & Innovation: Learning from Regional & European Initiatives

COLUMBUS Logo Colour

Managed by AquaTT, COLUMBUS aims to measurably increase the uptake and application of outputs arising from publicly-funded marine research projects by different end-users, specifically industry and policy makers. It has many objectives, one of which is to facilitate events and activities to bridge the gap between research communities and end users in the marine and maritime sector to stimulate knowledge transfer for Blue Growth. 

A workshop entitled “Marine Knowledge Transfer & Innovation: Learning from Regional & European Initiatives” was held as a side event of European Maritime Day on 17 May. The event, hosted by the National Oceanography Centre’s facility in Southampton, and organised by AquaTT (COLUMBUS Strategic and Operational Lead) and two partners, EurOcean and Marine South East, proved to be a great success.

The objective of the workshop was to a) examine good practice and progress arising from recent initiatives at a regional and European level; b) identify where barriers had been overcome and whether efforts could be replicated; and, c) brainstorm ideas as to how to overcome challenges and barriers in the future. The workshop utilised both facilitated debate and world café style methodologies to ensure maximum exchange and sharing of knowledge and information.

For more information on COLUMBUS, please visit the project website on or contact the project manager, Cliona Ní Cheallacháin, AquaTT, at


Recent AQUAEXCEL2020 Research Featured in Milling and Grain, Issue April 2017


One of the current key areas of interest for the aquaculture industry is sustainable aquaculture feed, and fish farmers are always looking for sustainable feed that can make fish strong and healthy. A recently published study led by the Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) in Spain concludes that marine feed ingredients in aquaculture can potentially be replaced by plant ingredients without detrimental effects, when appropriate feed additives are added.

This research was made possible through combining long term research efforts in AQUAEXCEL and ARRAINA (an EU-funded project with focus on sustainable nutrition in aquaculture) with short-term studies through the Transnational Access (TNA) program in AQUAEXCEL and AQUAEXCEL2020. ARRAINA investigated fish diets with a high replacement of marine ingredients by plant raw materials as alternatives to the traditional fish meal as ae2020aquaculture feed. The conjunction with the two TNA projects allowed this study’s integrative approach investigating the impact of the ARRAINA diets on the fish’s intestinal health and integrity.

Transnational Access involves a research group in one country collaborating with one or more AQUAEXCEL2020 Infrastructures that are located in a different country to the applicant, and which offer facilities and expertise not available in their own country.

Interested researchers can propose projects that involve visits of one or two people to the chosen research infrastructure for a period of up to three months. Access to the research infrastructures and associated travel and subsistence expenses will be covered by AQUAEXCEL2020. The establishment of new transnational collaborations is strongly encouraged, as well as the participation of SMEs.

To find out more about at AQUAEXCEL2020 TNA programme, please visit:

To read the full article in Milling and Grain, April edition 2017, pages 58-61, please visit: See below for details on the next call for access, or visit here:


PerformFISH: A Major New €7M Research Project launches focused on a New Era of Consumer-Driven Development in Mediterranean Aquaculture

The €7 million EC-funded PerformFISH project officially launched in Volvos, Greece, on 15-16 May 2017 with the aim of exploring and tackling the underlying causes behind the stagnation of the Mediterranean Marine Fish Farming (MMFF) sector. 

Sea bream and sea bass are by volume the third (36.4%) and fourth (28.15%) most farmed fish species in the EU, and their collective value (€1.04 million) surpasses that of salmon (€0.78 million), trout (€0.55 million) or mussel farming (€0.49 million). The farming of sea bass and sea bream contributes significantly to wealth and job creation in Mediterranean rural and coastal areas. However, in recent years, there has been growing concern regarding the lack of growth and improvement in the MMFF sector, and the European aquaculture industry as a whole.

Over the next five years, PerformFISH will work to ensure sustainable growth of the Mediterranean aquaculture industry, based on consumer perceptions and real market requirements. It aims to support fish farms that operate not only in ideal economic and environmental conditions but also in a socially and culturally responsible manner.
The efforts of PerformFISH will be complemented by those of its sister project MedAID, which will develop innovative tools and integrated marketing and business plans, and will PerformFISH KO Consortium photowork to improve the sector’s image, sustainability and governance.

With 28 partners across the aquaculture value chain, PerformFISH consists of a strong multi-stakeholder partnership, including significant collaboration and support from the five Fish Farming Associations representing 92.8% of EU sea bream and sea bass production.

The PerformFISH project website will be coming soon – keep an eye on!


Fully EC-Funded Access to Top-Class Aquaculture Research Infrastructures Across Europe – APPLY NOW!

The sixth AQUAEXCEL2020(AQUAculture infrastructures for EXCELlence in European fish research towards 2020) Call for Access opens on 31 May, with a deadline of 12 July 2017.
On a regular basis, the EU H2020-funded AQUAEXCEL2020 project invites proposals from European research groups for scientific research that utilises the facilities of any of the participating aquaculture research infrastructures.

The AQUAEXCEL2020 project unites major aquaculture experimental facilities who have the capacity to undertake experimental trials on a selection of commercially important aquaculture fish species and system types. These installations are made available to the research community for Transnational Access (TNA) with the support of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.


The available facilities cover the entire range of aquaculture production systems (cage, pond, recirculation, flowthrough, hatchery and disease challenge); environments (freshwater, marine and cold, temperate and warm water); production scales (small, medium and large industrial); fish species (salmonids, cold and warm water marine fish, freshwater fish and artemia); and fields of expertise (nutrition, physiology, health and welfare, genetics, engineering and monitoring and management technologies).

Interested researchers can propose projects that involve visits of one or two people to the chosen research infrastructure for a period of up to three months. Access to the research infrastructures and associated travel and subsistence expenses will be covered by AQUAEXCEL2020. The establishment of new transnational collaborations is strongly encouraged, as well as the participation of SMEs.

Do you have a project idea but need help to find the right facility?

Please contact the orientation committee of AQUAEXCEL2020 at

For more information on Transnational Access (TNA) and how to apply please visit:


Student Corner

NF-Pogo Fellowship for On-Board Training for Fridge Cruise 2017 

This fellowship programme is open to early career scientists, technicians, postgraduate students (PhD/MSc) and post-doctoral fellows involved in oceanographic work at centres in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Applicants must be citizens of developing countries or economies in transition, as defined by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD. Application/registration deadline: 31 May 2017. 

See more details at: 


5th ESA Advanced Training Course on Ocean Remote Sensing and Synergy 

The European Space Agency (ESA) is organising an advanced Ocean Remote Sensing Training Course devoted to training the next generation of Earth Observation (EO) scientists to exploit data from ESA and operational EO Missions (e.g. Copernicus Sentinels) for science and application development. The training course is being organised by ESA in cooperation with the University of Porto and will be held at the University from 11-15 September 2017. Post graduates, PhD students, postdoctoral research scientists and users from European countries and Canada interested in Ocean Remote Sensing and Synergy are invited to apply to the five-day course. No participation fees will be charged for the training but participants are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses (financial support is not available).

For more information, see: 


ESA IV Summer School Course “Aquaculture in Southern Europe: basic and applied aspects” to be hosted in University of Cádiz

The University of Cádiz has announced the fourth edition of its international summer course on ‘Aquaculture in Southern Europe: basic and applied aspects’ during the first week of July 2017. The course is principally aimed at Master’s and PhD level students, but is also accessible to others. The course will be taught in English.

This course will cover different aspects of the aquaculture activity in marsh ponds, focusing on the differential characteristics in these environments, the ecological impacts, and the physiological and welfare issues of the cultured species (nutrition, stress, immunology, osmoregulation, etc.).

You can find more information about the course and the application form at the course website: http:///



Other News

European Commission Adopts Action Plans to Improve Belgian and German Fisheries Control Systems

The EC has adopted two action plans setting out how Belgium and Germany can overcome identified shortcomings in their fisheries control systems, following audit programmes on data management and control system held respectively in 2014 and 2015, and in 2015 and 2016.

Read the full story on the EC Fisheries website


High Levels of PCB Chemicals in UK Killer Whale Lulu

The Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme, managed by Scotland’s Rural College, has discovered that a killer whale found dead on Tiree, off the coast of Scotland, had one of the highest levels of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) pollution ever recorded. The adult killer whale – identified as a well-known animal named ‘Lulu’ – died after becoming entangled in creel rope in January 2016, but analysis undertaken over the past year has shed further light on her case.

Read the full story on the Huffington post website


Shipping Lanes Could Cause Hearing Loss for Seals

Seals may experience hearing loss from underwater vessel noise, according to new research from the University of St Andrews, Scotland. The study compares seals inhabiting the UK’s busy shipping lanes to humans living in noisy cities. In a new paper published by the Journal of Applied Ecology, the St Andrews researcher says the noise can affect how sea mammals such as whales, dolphins and seals find food and communicate with each other.

Read the full story on the St Andrews University website


Fish Cooperate for Selfish Reasons

A new study by an international team of researchers from Sweden, Canada and the UK shows that fish cooperate to raise another fish’s offspring to reduce their own risk of being eaten by a predator. In an article published in Nature Ecology and Evolution the team shows self-interest is what leads to the evolution of complex cooperative societies in African cichlid fishes.

Read the full story on the Stockholm University website


Why Don’t Fish Freeze to Death in Icy Water?

In the microgravity experiments at the International Space Station (ISS), scientists revealed that supercooled water containing antifreeze glycoproteins accelerates and oscillates its ice crystal growth rate. This seemingly contradictory result may lead to a better understanding of the mysterious antifreeze effect in living organisms.

Read the full story on the Hokkaido University website 


EC Evaluation of the Fisheries Control Regulation

The European Commission has published its evaluation of the fisheries control regulation. The report shows that Member States have generally implemented the main obligations set by this regulation, a key instrument in delivering the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). However, the Commission concluded that many Member States are yet to fully implement it.

Read the full story on the EC Fisheries website


How do Fish Perceive their Environment?

Fishes perceive changes in water currents caused by prey, conspecifics and predators using their lateral line. The tiny sensors of this organ also allow them to navigate reliably. However, with increasing current velocities, the background signal also increases. Scientists at the University of Bonn, Germany, have now created a realistic, three-dimensional model of a fish for the first time and have simulated the precise current conditions.

Read the full story on the University of Bonn website  


 PiscesTT Jobs

pisces-logo-blue Sept 2007If you are interested in viewing or posting a job vacancy in the marine sector and related areas, please visit the PiscesTT website or contact



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