AquaTT Training News - June 2014

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24 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.

To search for MSc programmes, MSc and PhD courses, and other training opportunities (short courses, online courses, work placements, etc.) in aquaculture, fisheries and aquatic resource management, please visit the Aqua-tnet Education Gate. This interactive web portal is the one-stop-shop for education in your field. 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. A comprehensive overview of all events is given in the AquaTT Calendar.



Safe Seafood Project Develops Tools for Detection of Pharmaceutical Residues

ECSAFESEAFOOD COL LOGOSignificant progress towards improving seafood safety in Europe is being made by the EC-funded ECsafeSEAFOOD project. The project is assessing food safety issues related to priority contaminants present in seafood as a result of environmental contamination (including those originating from harmful algal blooms and those associated with marine litter) and evaluating their impact on public health.

Progress has already been made by the project in monitoring selected priority contaminants in seafood species, and developing reliable and cost-effective detection tools for those contaminants. The ECsafeSEAFOOD project held its fourth coordination meeting in Hirtshals, Denmark, from 18-20 June 2014 during which the advances made so far were presented.

ECsafeSEAFOOD consortium members at a recent meeting in Hirtshals Denmark

Dr Antonio Marques, ECsafeSEAFOOD project coordinator, said: “The project is currently in a crucial stage and interesting outputs are beginning to emerge. The advances made so far are enormous. All partners are enthusiastic about accomplishing the objectives set for the project and several collaborations have also been established between the partners, which illustrate the excellent work environment in the project.”

Outputs of the project include the recent results from a monitoring scheme which assessed the presence of contaminants in seafood in hotspot areas, enabling the partners to choose which relevant priority environmental contaminants to study further during the project. Contaminant monitoring is now being conducted for commercial seafood species.

Another output tackles public concern surrounding pharmaceuticals released into surface waters. This involved the development of an efficient method for detection of pharmaceutical residues from bivalves using low detection methods.

Further novel methods for screening, detection and extraction of different toxins are also being developed at this stage of the project. The optimisation of bioaccessibility and bioavailability tools for assessing the toxicological impact of contaminants is almost complete.

A recently conducted consumer survey is currently being analysed in order to understand consumer preferences and concerns with regard to seafood safety. The survey collected nearly 3,000 responses from Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Information gathered from the survey and the contaminants database is being combined with data from monitoring priority contaminants in seafood in order to implement realistic risk assessment using probabilistic tools. Mitigation strategies are also being addressed at this stage of the project.

In order to help consumers utilise the results of ECsafeSEAFOOD, preliminary trials of an online consumer tool have been made, which will ultimately allow consumers to access nutrient and contaminant profiles of seafood on demand.

For more information about the ECsafeSEAFOOD project, visit:


Researchers Developing Online Visualisation Tool to Support Decision Makers in Tackling Vector Borne Diseases

Healthy FuturesAn online visualisation tool is currently being developed to support decision makers in taking measures to mitigate the risk of outbreaks and transmission of water-related vector-borne diseases (VBDs) in eastern Africa. The work is being carried out as part of the EC-funded HEALTHY FUTURES (Health, Environmental Change and Adaptive Capacity: mapping, examining and anticipating future risks of water-related vector-borne diseases in eastern Africa) project.

HEALTHY FUTURES is an FP7-funded research project that aims to construct a disease risk-mapping system for three water-related, high-impact VBDs (malaria, Rift Valley fever and schistosomiasis) in eastern Africa, taking into account environmental/climatic trends and changes in socio-economic conditions to predict future risk. As the project is now in its final year, significant progress is being made in an effort to integrate the scientific outputs of the project into an effective online visualisation tool suitable for decision makers within eastern Africa.

Example of information provided by the HEALTHY FUTURES online visualisation tool

The online atlas is being developed at the Centre for Geoinformatics (Z_GIS), Paris Lodron University of Salzburg (PLUS) in collaboration with other HEALTHY FUTURES partners. It will enable end-users to filter the available information by the target disease, time and associated climate change scenarios, and the risk framework components. For each of the three diseases, different time components will be available including historical data, present-day results, future scenarios, and “change maps”. For most of the combinations, maps will be displayed and different information associated to the data will be visualised through graphs and/or tables. The atlas will be based on open source software products and will be accessible via the project website:

HEALTHY FUTURES has also recently released a report detailing its collaborations and synergies with other related projects and stakeholders. In particular, the benefits and outcomes of HEALTHY FUTURES’ collaborations with its sister project QWeCI (Quantifying Weather and Climate Impacts on Health in Developing Countries) are noted, focusing on the development and improvement of the Liverpool Malaria Model (LMM) and the Rift Valley Fever model. Both of these models were originally developed under the scope of QWeCI and their refinement within HEALTHY FUTURES would not have been possible without this close collaboration.

The report also details HEALTHY FUTURES stakeholder engagement strategy. As part of this strategy, HEALTHY FUTURES is coordinating an upcoming international conference entitled “Climate Change and Vector Borne Disease: Past, Present and Futures”. This conference is scheduled to take place in Kigali, Rwanda, from 18-20 November 2014. It will attract experts in the field of climate change and VBD research, and policy-makers from a local, regional and international level, with the aim of providing a forum to initiate meaningful discussion on how to integrate science with policy. The conference will focus on a number of themes including environmental change affecting VBDs, statistical and dynamical disease modelling, climate change related risk analysis and vulnerability assessment, and adaptation to climate-related health impacts.

For more information on the conference please visit the website:


Aqua-tnet Final Annual Event and ICT Skills Workshop

aquatnet logo

The Final Aqua-tnet 3 Annual Event took place in St Julians, Malta, from 26-27 June 2014. The meeting was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Malta and involved around 60 participants from 30 organisations.

Robert Vassallo-Agius from the Malta Aquaculture Research Centre welcomed all visitors and gave a very enlightening overview of aquaculture production and research in Malta to help appreciate the local context.

This was followed by a fascinating walk through the development of higher education over the past 30 years presented by Prof. Luc Francois from Gent University. This included the introduction of Tuning Educational Structures and the use of learning outcomes approaches, through the evolution of universal qualification structures and quality assurance systems, to internationalisation and personal learning pathways. He concluded by asking if the increasing focus of higher education to meet the needs of the labour market is a blessing or a curse?  

Following an update on the planned Aqua-tnet special edition of Aquaculture International, presented by Gavin Burnell, discussion turned to the future opportunities for the Aqua-tnet network.

John Bostock summarised the priorities and funding activities of the new Erasmus+ programme, and then invited a panel consisting of work package leaders and previous coordinators to lead discussions on future options and activities. This discussion was distilled into a number of recommendations that were further discussed and agreed the following day. These sought to maintain the wider network and identity through collaboration with other sector organisations whilst envisaging a wider range of smaller but more specific projects involving fewer partners, but nevertheless, continuing to develop the Aqua-tnet agenda.

The meeting was also an opportunity for each work package group to meet and present the outcomes of their activities. Work Package 5 also held a separate session on Lifelong Learning to present and discuss developments at the EU level and in particular, the expected impact of the European Skills Competences and Occupations (ESCO) taxonomy.

Some of the major work package deliverables will be highlighted in future editions of the Aqua-tnet newsletter.

Final Event Group Photo

A Digital Teaching Skills workshop was held in combination with the Annual Event in Malta on 24-25 June. It was organised by Bernd Ueberschaer and other members of Aqua-tnet Work Package 5c.

After introductions, Mike Moulton gave a stimulating presentation on “The Ins & Outs of Learning in the Age of Tweets”. The workshop facilitators then gave overview of each of the main topics: video, audio, social media, e-portfolio, and sharing presentations. This was followed by more detailed sessions on these topics where participants could select the three that interested them most.

Much of the second day was spent on more hands-on activities resulting in the production of several short videos, some e-portfolio profiles and much interaction with social media such as the bookmarking service, Diigo.

Participants enjoyed the workshop and felt more enthusiastic and confident in using the technologies by the end. Particular appreciation went to guest tutors Stephen Bean (video) and Eoin Lettice (social media) from University College Cork, for their inspiring contributions.

ICT Skills Workshop  1 ICT Skills Workshop  3
ICT Skills Workshop  4 ICT Skills Workshop  2


ARRAINA 'Technology for Novel Fish Feeds' Course

ARRAINA logo smallThe ARRAINA project ( , through SPAROS and Wageningen Academy is organising a course on Technology for Novel Fish Feeds.

Do you or one of your colleagues/students need an update on the theoretical and practical aspects of fish feed manufacturing process? Then the Technology for Novel Fish Feeds course might be something for you. During this course, you will take advantage of the wide knowledge basis gathered in the ARRAINA consortium, and using SPAROS pilot-scale feed technology platform.

Upon completion of the course you will have acquired in-depth knowledge of the state-of-the art and future challenges in formulation and production of novel, sustainable and cost-effective fish feeds, with a focus on the interaction of current formulation trends (plant-rich, alternative feedstuffs, functional additives) and some feed processing constraints.

The topics will be introduced by different experts from INRA, Univ. Porto, NMBU-FôrTeck, CCMAR, FEFAC, SORGAL, CLEXTRAL, BIOMAR and SPAROS.
Interested? Find out more about the course on the WA website or sign up now.

Practical Information

Course dates: 26-29 October 2014
Early bird Registration: 1 September  2014
Late Registration deadline: 29 September 2014
Contact: Malou Gosselink


Student Corner

EAS-SG Call for Travel Grant Applications: Aquaculture Europe 2014

The European Aquaculture Society Student Group (EAS-SG) is now accepting applications for travel grants from students for Aquaculture Europe 2014 (14-17 October, Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain). The EAS-SG will fund three students (€300 each) to attend this year’s conference.

Applications require a letter of motivation of maximun one page, a document validating your status as student, as well as an EAS-SG membership. Applications may include additional material (e.g. submitted abstract), but a presentation at the conference (oral or poster) is not required.

Successful applicants will be asked to give a very short presentation (5-10 min) on their field of interest during this year’s student workshop at the conference.

Please send your application as single pdf-document by 18 July 2014 to the following address:

Successful applicants will be informed within two weeks.


PhD Course “Physical and biochemical methods for analysis of fish as food” – Denmark, 10-14 November 2014

A PhD course in “Physical and biochemical methods for analysis of fish as food” will take place from 10-14 November 2014 at National food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Søltofts Plads, Building 221, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark. The aim of the course is to provide insight into the state of the art of advanced laboratory techniques and methods that are recommended for analysis of fish muscle components relevant in studies of ante mortem (e.g. feed, stress) effects on fish as well as for following post mortem changes in fish. The course comprises five days of exercises.

For further information see:


YOUMARES 5 Extended Deadlines

The application deadline for abstracts for YOUMARES 5 is extended to 15 July 2014. YOUMARES 5 will be held in Stralsund, Germany, from 10-12 September 2014.

This year there will be a diverse selection of 10 sessions:

  • Small-Scale Fisheries Research - towards sustainable fisheries using a multi-entry perspective
  • Individual Engagement in Environmental Change
  • Aquaculture in a changing ocean
  • Coral Reef ecology, management and conservation in a rapidly changing ocean environment
  • Tools and Methods supporting an Ecosystem Based Approach to Marine Spatial Management
  • Measurement and Control Engineering - the Clockwork in Marine Science
  • Aquatic Plastic Pollution - tackling environmental impacts with new solutions
  • Mangrove Forests - an endangered ecological and economic transition zone between ocean and land
  • Effects of Global Climate Change on Emerging Infectious Diseases of Marine Fish
  • Cold Water Research - From high latitude coasts to deep sea trenches

Guidelines for abstract submission are available HERE.


Three Fully Funded MASTS PhD Studentships Available

SAMS is offering three fully funded MASTS (Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland) PhD studentships to outstanding candidates from the UK or the EU. SAMS - based on the west coast of Scotland - is an academic partner of the University of the Highlands and Islands and one of the UK’s premier marine research institutes.

Students can apply for any of the three following PhD projects:

For full information on how to apply, click HERE.

Closing date for applications is 14 July 2014. Interviews are expected to take place week beginning 21 July 2014.


Other News

Ocean Sampling Day 2014: A Worldwide Success Story

With 185 marine stations from 38 countries and 5 continents signed up for Ocean Sampling Day 2014, OSD has become the first globally organised scientific attempt to generate a snapshot of the microbial diversity and function in our oceans.

Click HERE to learn more.


The Challenger Society for Marine Science 2014 Conference: President's Photographic Competition

The Challenger Society for Marine Science's Conference 2014 will be held at Plymouth University. This biennial conference attracts over 300 leading UK marine scientists and science managers, as well as showcasing cutting edge marine science and technology.

The President's Prize is given for the photograph judged by the Challenger Society’s President and President Elect to best convey a theme related to marine science. This year's theme will be "Interaction with marine science".

For information on how to enter, click HERE.


FAO Guide Aims to Improve Emergency Response in Fisheries and Aquaculture Sectors

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) has released a report, entitled “Fisheries and aquaculture emergency response guidance”, which draws on lessons learned during responses to disasters that affected the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. The guide aims to save the lives and livelihoods of people affected by disasters, climate change and human activity-related hazards, and humanitarian emergencies in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

Read more HERE.


Are Fish Near Extinction?

A new study by Dr. Roi Holzman and Victor China of the Department of Zoology at Tel Aviv University's George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences has uncovered the reason why 90% fish larvae are biologically doomed to die mere days after hatching. With this understanding of the mechanism that kills off the majority of the world's fish larvae, leaving only a marginal proportion to populate the world's oceans, "We can help find a solution to the looming fish crisis in the world," said Dr. Holzman.

Read more HERE.


EC Launches Public Consultation on Science 2.0

‘Science 2.0’ describes the on-going evolution in the modus operandi of doing research and organising science. These changes in the dynamics of science and research are enabled by digital technologies and driven by the globalisation of the scientific community, as well as the need to address the Grand Challenges of our times. They have an impact on the entire research cycle, from the inception of research to its publication, as well as on the way in which this cycle is organised.

The goal of the consultation is to better understand the full societal potential of 'Science 2.0' as well as the desirability of any possible policy action.

The three main objectives of the consultation are: (1) to assess the degree of awareness amongst the stakeholders of the changing modus operandi; (2) to assess the perception of the opportunities and challenges and (3) to identify possible policy implications and actions to strengthen the competitiveness of the European science and research system by enabling it to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by Science 2.0.

Closing Date: 30 September 2014

For more information, click HERE.


International Collaboration Has Sequenced the Atlantic Salmon Genome

On 10 June the International Cooperation to Sequence the Atlantic Salmon Genome (ICSASG) announced completion of a fully mapped and openly accessible salmon genome. This reference genome will provide crucial information to fish managers to improve the production and sustainability of aquaculture operations, and address challenges around conservation of wild stocks, preservation of at-risk fish populations and environmental sustainability. Learn more HERE.


European Maritime and Fisheries Fund: Commission Publishes Breakdown by Member State

Following the recent adoption of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) (IP/14/458), the European Commission has set out the breakdown of the fund by priority and Member State. The breakdown covers the €5.75bn which will be implemented under shared management by Member States. The total EMFF budget, including shared and direct management, is €6.4bn for the period 2014-2020. With the reform of its Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the EU has acted against overfishing and the practice of throwing unwanted fish back in the sea. The EMFF is the financial instrument to help deliver these objectives by providing financial support to fishermen, fish farmers and coastal communities and by funding projects to help boost growth and jobs in the European maritime economy.


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Recently added positions:

Position: Director Of The Oceanological Observatory in Banyuls sur mer (France)

Position: Chief Officer And Head Of Service (United Kingdom)

Position: Marine Assessment Scientist (United Kingdom)

Position: Marine Protected Areas Monitoring Officer (United Kingdom)

Position: Marine Impacts Mapping Scientist (United Kingdom)

Position: Marine Protected Areas Advisors (United Kingdom)

Position: Underwater Noise Advisor (United Kingdom)

Position: Deputy Chief Inshore Fisheries And Conservation Officer (United Kingdom)



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