February 2014

This is a free e-mail news service provided by Aqua-tnet for the Aqua-tnet network and its partners. Aqua-tnet is the European Thematic Network in the field of aquaculture, fisheries and aquatic resources management, funded under the European Commission Lifelong Learning Programme, from 2011 - 2014.

In the newsletter you will find an update of Aqua-tnet and its activities, as well as information from the European Commission related to European education matters.

Please forward this newsletter to your colleagues and students. Please submit any relevant information for dissemination in the newsletter to 








Aqua-tnet Annual Meeting 2014

We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for the upcoming final Aqua-tnet Annual Meeting, which will be held in St. Julian’s, Malta, on Thursday 26 and Friday 27 June 2014. If you have not yet received a registration form, please contact Cori at


ICT Skills for Teachers Workshop

A two-day hands-on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) workshop aimed at teachers will be held from 24-25 June 2014 in St Julian’s, Malta, in combination with the final Aqua-tnet III Annual Event.

The purpose of the workshop is to help teachers to create their own e-learning materials and raise their awareness of innovative e-learning tools. During the workshop, participants will learn how to handle basic ICTs such as podcasts, online polls and social media.

The deadline for registration for this workshop is 31 March 2014. To register, or if you have any questions or queries at this point, please contact the organiser of the workshop: B. Ueberschär ( Please see workshop leaflet for more details.


Learning Outcomes and ESCO: ESCO workshop, Brussels, 19 February 2014

- attended by M.Eleftheriou

The ESCO 2020 Initiative held a Learning Outcomes Workshop to discuss how to link the skills and competences that had been identified as belonging to the job profiles that have been developed within the framework of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Reference Group.

A key issue was how to differentiate between skills, competences and knowledge. Once that has been determined, then the learning outcomes that are associated with the relevant skills, competences and knowledge can be described, and these can then be linked to the relevant qualifications.

Initially, ESCO simply grouped skills and competences together, as can be seen in all its public references and publications. However, it has been realised that it is necessary at this stage in the ESCO workplan to differentiate between skills, competences and knowledge. Though it has not proved possible to date for experts in the EU to agree on a single definition for competences, ESCO has chosen to make the following distinctions, as presented on their behalf by Mr Jens Bjornavald of CEDEFOP:

Competence: the proved ability to use knowledge, skills and abilities in work or study situations and in professional and personal development

Skills: cognitive and/or practical use of methods, tools and instruments

Knowledge: theoretical or practical knowledge

This information may not appear to be very useful to Aqua-tnet members at this precise moment, but given that all first-level Bologna courses should be expressed in terms of Learning Outcomes, it could well prove helpful when course designers are contemplating the new academic year and their contribution to revising/updating existing courses, or creating new courses in response to current market needs.


Aqua-tnet Special Issue

Work is progressing on the Aqua-tnet Special Issue, with some chapters already in the final stages of preparation. We would like to remind contributors that by the time they read this note, the deadline for contributions (28 February) will already have passed!


Development of European Aquaculture Course

Work Package1 (WP1) is working on an introductory course on European Aquaculture (e.g. for use in MSc programmes) based around materials and learning activities that are being developed at There will be a WP1 meeting in Stirling, Scotland on 25-26 March 2014 to work on the detailed curriculum and supporting materials. The group also held  Skype conference on 4 March to review progress on the case studies and associated learning activities.



To search for PhD, MSc and mobility opportunities and courses and to access information on your colleagues in Aqua-tnet3, please visit the Aqua-tnet Education Gate. If you have any further additions or would like to make changes to your institution's information please contact Marieke Reuver at

If you are a graduate and would like to post your request for an internship, or your company is seeking interns, please visit







European MOOCs Scoreboard

The aim of the Open Education Europa MOOCs Scoreboard is to highlight the huge potential that European institutions have in the world of MOOCs and to help visualise this potential by compiling the existing European-provided MOOCs available on different open websites. 

The world of MOOCs is dynamic and growing, and Open Education Europa aims to be the leading online resource for open education innovation. Anyone with additional sources or updates is welcome to get in touch to contribute to the MOOC scoreboard.


Open Praxis Vol. 6 Issue 1 Now Available

Open Praxis is a peer-reviewed open access scholarly journal focusing on research and innovation in open, distance and flexible education. It is published by the International Council for Open and Distance Education - ICDE. The aim of Open Praxis is to provide a forum for global collaboration and discussion of issues in the practice of distance and e-learning. This issue (Vol 6, No 1 (2014)) of Open Praxis focuses on student support services in open, distance and flexible education.  


EAEA's Younger Staff Training 2014 Call Open

The European Associaction for the Education of Adults (EAEA) is organising its fourth Younger Staff Training period from 2-5 December 2014 in Brussels, Belgium. The in-service training is meant for younger European adult educators. The course introduces European policy making through study visits and workshops.

Organisations can apply funding from the Erasmus+ programme (Erasmus+ mobility application, KA1) to cover a part of the course fee. The deadline for Erasmus+ mobility applications is 17 March 2014.

For detailed information, click HERE


Entries Invited for the Novartis Young Scientist Award

Novartis Animal Health (NAH) will recognise the best student presentation at this year’s Aquaculture UK conference, with a Young Scientist Award and an expenses paid trip to its dedicated Aquaculture Research & Development site in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Applications are invited from those currently conducting, or having recently completed, research in aquaculture. For full details of how to apply and the conditions of entry click HERE.


Internship Opportunity at the NAFO Secretariat

The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO) Intern Programme allows students, post graduates or early career individuals from NAFO member countries an opportunity to improve their skills, enhance their experience and learn about NAFO and its activities. Interns will work at the NAFO Secretariat in Dartmouth, NS, Canada. Since the start of the programme four interns have been hosted from USA, Canada, Russia and the EU. Applications are encouraged from all NAFO Contracting Parties. The results from the Internship Programme have been very successful but due to budget restrictions the programme will only be available for a three month term in 2014.

Applications are being accepted now for placements beginning in 2014. Please download and complete the Application Form. If you have already applied please indicate your continued interest and your availability for the upcoming term (in 2014). For more information, click HERE


GRALE II Report Focuses on Global Literacy

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) recently published its second Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE). The report shows that despite recent progress in increacing global literacy rates, many millions of people are still being left out of learning opportunities. The report points out as one key problem the lack of common global understanding of how to approach literacy.

Drawing on data gathered from 141 countries, the report reviews progress in implementing the Belém Framework for Action, a strategy for the global development of adult literacy and adult education within the perspective of lifelong learning.

Find the report HERE and the summary and recommendations HERE


Fish Feed Trial Results Presented at ARRAINA Partner Meeting

Partners and members of the stakeholder advisory board from the EU-funded ARRAINA project met in Wageningen, the Netherlands, from 3-5 February 2014 for their second annual meeting. The open interactive scientific workshop sessions held at the meeting provided many productive outcomes. These sessions were an opportunity for review and discussion of the progress made so far, and collaboration on important decisions for the way forward in the next year of the project.

The ARRAINA project aims to deliver improved and innovative methods, tools and concepts for fish nutrition that contribute to a knowledge based economy. This involves developing applicable outputs, including designing and delivering training courses in fish nutrition to increase research capacities and expertise; and bridging the gap between the scientific community and the commercial sector by undertaking problem-based research and enhanced knowledge transfer.

Looking at the five main European aquaculture species (Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, common carp, gilthead seabream, European seabass), the ARRAINA project partners are making progress on defining quantitative nutritional requirements for the target fish species. One of the main objectives is to investigate the long-term effects of alternative feeds on fish metabolism, performance, quality and waste management throughout the whole fish lifecycle (egg to brood stock).

The ARRAINA project partners will host a session on fish nutrition later this year at the Aquaculture Europe conference in San Sebastián, Spain. This will provide stakeholders and interested parties with the opportunity to learn more about the current and expected results of the ARRAINA project.

ARRAINA brings together a multidisciplinary consortium from 21 leading institutes (research, industry and SMEs) from across Europe guided by the ethos of maintaining productivity of the European aquaculture industry while addressing the issues of nutritional value, food safety and environmental impacts.

The project factsheet can be downloaded HERE as a PDF. For more information, please visit the project website or contact Sadasivam Kaushik (Coordinator) or the Project Manager Heloise Simonson (


Mediterranean Aquaculture Sustainable Development Project Delivers High-Potential Results

AQUAMED was an EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)-funded project designed to support the sustainable development of aquaculture in the Mediterranean region. Following the completion of the project in May 2013, the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) invited Dr Jean-Paul Blancheton, AQUAMED project coordinator, to present the final results of the project at a meeting held in Brussels, Belgium, on 4 February 2014.

Based on three years of research, the AQUAMED project has identified the main research centres, stakeholders and research projects involved in the improvement of Mediterranean aquaculture. Stakeholders from 13 Mediterranean countries were invited to join the AQUAMED project's research partners in order to develop a common Action Plan to support the establishment of a Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSHP). The purpose of the MSHP is to avoid duplication and fragmentation of research efforts, and to stimulate long-term cooperation and coordination between policy makers, the aquaculture industry, and RTD performers in the Mediterranean.

Dr Blancheton commented: “The AQUAMED project’s success was based on the engagement of the Mediterranean aquaculture stakeholders. The stakeholder events helped the partnership to show the importance of industry, researchers and policy makers working together to define the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for Mediterranean Aquaculture.”

The project also studied the predicted aquaculture trends the region could face by the year 2030 as well as the main constraints that are currently affecting the sector, in order to build a MSHP that will help to overcome the constraints identified. The MSHP will contribute to the development of a common transnational Mediterranean Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA), which represents the shared objectives and synergies between the different participating countries.

Dr Blancheton’s presentation of the AQUAMED project in Brussels was followed by a question and answer session. The event’s attendees were particularly interested in the research priorities and communication challenges identified within the project, the possible continuation of the platform’s activities under the aegis of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), possible links with the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform (EATiP), and the AQUAMED plan of action.

At the end of the meeting the participants congratulated the coordinator and the AQUAMED partnership and observers on the excellent quality of the work carried out within the project.

For more information please visit


Deadline for AQUAEXCEL 7th Call for Access Applications Approaching

The 7th AQUAEXCEL Call for Access will close on 14 March 2014.

On a regular basis, the AQUAEXCEL project invites proposals from European research groups for scientific research that utilises the facilities of any of the participating Aquaculture Research Infrastructures. The AQUAEXCEL project unites major aquaculture experimental facilities with capacity to undertake experimental trials on a selection of commercially important fish aquaculture species and system types. These facilities are made available to the research community for Transnational Access (TNA) with the support of the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for Research and Technological Development (Infrastructures).

The facilities available cover the entire range of production systems (recirculation, flow‐through, cage, hatchery and pond systems); environments (freshwater and marine, cold, temperate and warm water); scales (small, medium and industrial scale); fish species (salmon, trout, sea bass, sea bream, cod, common carp etc.); and fields of expertise (nutrition, physiology, health and welfare, genetics, engineering, monitoring and management technologies).

Interested researchers can propose projects that involve visits of one or in some cases two people to the chosen Research Infrastructure for periods of up to three months. The use of the facilities (excluding any additional costs) is covered through AQUAEXCEL partner funding and the associated travel and subsistence expenses for the visiting scientist(s) will be paid through the host institution, according to their internal rules for reimbursement.

For more information, visit:



Public Consultation on CFP Technical Measures

On 24 January 2014, the European Commission launched a consultation on a new framework for technical measures in the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Technical measures are a broad set of rules which govern how, where and when fishermen can fish, and are established for all European sea basins. The consultation aims to gather the views of the main stakeholders on how to achieve the objectives of the reformed CFP, considering these technical measures and the governance structure within which they operate. The deadline for submissions is the 24 April 2014. Click HERE for more information.


Chair Your Own Session at YOUMARES 5 2014: 10-12 September, Stralsund, Germany

Are you an advanced (Master’s or PhD) student and with a broad overview as well as a detailed understanding of your subject? Do you think that your field of investigation or interest should be represented as a session at YOUMARES 5? Here is your chance to chair a scientific session for a young, professional audience! To apply, please submit a session title and call for abstracts/contributions (100 words) that clearly explain your focus, an academic CV to prove your expertise, and a short letter of motivation to by 10 April 2014. For more information about YOUMARES, visit: 


Teeming with Marine Microbe News: Sixth Issue of MaCuMBA Project Newsletter Now Available

The sixth issue of the MaCuMBA (Marine Microorganisms: Cultivation Methods for Improving their Biotechnological Applications) project newsletter is now available to download from the project’s website: MaCuMBA is a four-year EC FP7-funded project that aims to uncover the untold diversity of marine microbes using cultivation-dependent strategies.

In this issue of MaCuMBA Project News: an interview with Professor Lone Gram from the Technical University of Denmark, who is leader of MaCuMBA Work Package 7, Screening for industrial targets from cultured marine bacteria; meet MaCuMBA scientists Marion Navarri and Alberto Vallejo Ayuso in the Culture Club; updates from MaCuMBA project partners MicroDishBV and Ribocon; feedback from participants in the recent Metagenomics Course organised by Universidad Miguel Hernández; our series of Petri Dish Profiles of other European-funded projects related to the study of marine microorganisms continues with the BAMMBO (Sustainable production of biologically active molecules of marine based origin) project; and the Under the Microscope section rounds up stories about marine microorganisms  that have been making the news.


Safe Seafood Project Enters Second Year

Availability of safe and high-quality food is a growing public concern and research plays an important role in ensuring consumer confidence in this sector. The challenge for the ECsafeSEAFOOD project is to assess food safety issues related to priority contaminants present in seafood as a result of environmental contamination and to evaluate their impact on public health. The progress made by the project in its first year was reviewed during its third coordination meeting in Sant Carles de la Ràpita, Spain, from 12-13 February 2014.

ECsafeSEAFOOD is an interdisciplinary project and the meeting brought together members of the project’s consortium which incorporates expertise in a range of food science disciplines, including: ecotoxicology; biochemistry; nutrition; risk assessment; seafood quality; and consumer behaviour and perceptions.

Dr Antonio Marques, ECsafeSEAFOOD project coordinator, said: “There are a lot of scientists behind the ECsafeSEAFOOD project and the coordination meetings are a good opportunity to bring all the project participants together and to unite the efforts being made to achieve the project’s objectives. These two-day meetings are extremely productive and allow the project participants to discuss results in more depth and plan future actions.”

The ECsafeSEAFOOD partners have been working together to identify the main methodologies available to analyse priority contaminants, the effects they may have on seafood, and their potential risks for human consumption. Each of these methodologies requires a specific sampling protocol, and careful coordination is needed to ensure that the correct samples required for the each of the different methods are supplied to the partners in charge of the analyses. The analyses must also be carried out in the correct order to ensure that they can complement each other.

Other recent work carried out as part of ECsafeSEAFOOD includes a consumer survey, designed to help the partnership to understand consumer preferences and concerns with regard to seafood safety. The survey responses have enabled the partners to choose which relevant priority environmental contaminants to study further during the project.

Dr Isabelle Sioen (Ghent University, Belgium), ECsafeSEAFOOD project partner, said: “We have collected nearly 3,000 survey responses from Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Apart from helping us to decide the priority contaminants to be studied, the results of the survey will also contribute to defining what kind of information should be disseminated to the general public in order to reduce public health risks from seafood consumption.”

The next challenge for the ECsafeSEAFOOD project is to define how to monitor the selected priority contaminants and to select the specific seafood species that will be examined under the scope of the project.

For more information about the ECsafeSEAFOOD project, visit:


Schooling Can Save the Planet: Infographic

This infographic from The Education for All Global Monitoring Report shows a breakdown by educational level and country for respondants who strongly disagreed with the statement:"We worry too much about the future of the environment and not enough about jobs and prices today". Across 29 countries, 25% of people with less than secondary education expressed concern for the environment compared to 37% of people with secondary education and 46% of people with tertiary education. The Education for All Global Monitoring Report is an authoritative reference that aims to inform, influence and sustain genuine commitment towards Education for All. It is developed by an independent team and published by UNESCO. 



Please check the Aqua-tnet calendar for a live update of upcoming events, courses and workshops.



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This update is published by the Aqua-tnet Secretariat. For further information e-mail Previous editions are archived on Aqua-tnet welcomes any feedback regarding content, presentation and user-friendliness of the newsletter. If you would like to post a news item or event details on the next issue of the Aqua-tnet Newsletter or on the Aqua-tnet website, please send details to Marieke Reuver at or

DISCLAIMER: AQUA-TNET provides this newsletter as a free service to its partners. Most of the information is provided by AQUA-TNET. Where it is not, the source of the news is provided in the text of the news brief or else AQUA-TNET attributes the news to the coordinating body as the "Data Source Provider". In no way does this newsletter intend to wrongly or inappropriately claim projects, news, etc. as its own nor is it responsible for incorrect information provided from other sources. The AQUA-TNET Newsletter is a dissemination tool and forum for both AQUA-TNET and its partners.