June 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 Final Annual Event

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 Aqua-tnet news.

See more photos from the Annual Event on our Facebook Page.


ICT Skills Workshop

The Aqua-tnet Digital Teaching Skills workshop was successfully held in Malta on 24-25 June, involving 26 participants (including 9 topic leaders). It was organised by Bernd Ueberschaer and other members of 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. 



EU-Asia Collaboration 

Notice on behalf of ASEM Aquaculture Platform

Last month Mrs Sigi Gruber, the new EC DG Research Head of Unit ‘Marine Resources’ convened an ad hoc think tank to discuss the shape of future collaboration strategies with China and south-east Asia (two distinct strategies are envisaged). The think tank consists of high level DG RTD officials and a selection of European representatives of research and industry networks with interest and/or expertise with SE Asia (EATiP, ICES, JPI Oceans, EFARO, EAS, some FP7 projects, etc.)

Mrs Gruber is strongly advocating research collaboration with SE Asia and China and seems determined to establish a workable strategy without further delay. She relies strongly on the advice of the think tank members, which puts us in a potentially very interesting position in that we will have a direct voice in the future direction EC may steer its aquaculture collaboration with SE Asia.

We are hereby calling for your assistance to collate baseline information on current education and research collaboration. As representative of European research and/or higher education institute we would like you to provide us with an overview of the main partners your institute is working with in SE Asia. At this point we are not looking for detailed and complete information but the merged information should give a clear picture on where our main interests lie.

May we ask to have a look at the attached Excel spreadsheet and complete the template sheet without delay? Next week (7 July) we will have a next meeting at DG RTD and we would like to announce that we will have a reasonably complete picture soon; let’s say before the end of July. We’ve already added those institutes UGent is working with but obviously the idea is that you complete it with your own partners. This should really not take more than five minutes.

Thanks in advance

Patrick Sorgeloos (Coordinator) and Jean Dhont (Secretary) 



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







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 maximum 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.


Far from Frozen

What do children and young people think about education? Possible answers to this question are elaborated in this book, which portrays and illustrates how young people from different European countries view and experience education. The book is based on a collection of essays that students were asked to write as part of an international research project. Click HERE to read more. 


Education and Training is Not Up to the Job, Say Quarter of Europeans in Survey

A new Eurobarometer survey on the 'European Area of Skills and Qualifications' (Special Eurobarometer 417) shows also that around a quarter (23%) of EU citizens feel that their education or training has not provided them with the skills to find a job in line with their qualifications. While over half of the respondents (56%) think their qualifications would be recognised in other Member States, 6% tried to work or study in another Member State but were unable to do so, either because their qualifications were not recognised by their prospective employer or education institution, or because the respondents lacked information about recognition of their qualifications abroad.

The survey's findings are echoed by the results of a separate Commission online consultation, 'Towards a European Area for Skills and Qualifications', aimed at education and training specialists. It collated views on the obstacles faced by people in having their skills and qualifications recognised across Europe and found that there is strong support for action to simplify European tools for recognition of skills and qualifications, to make them more coherent and easier to use, and to ensure a stronger focus on the needs of pupils, students, workers and employers. Respondents also call for more emphasis in education and training on what is learnt rather than the number of hours of instruction.

Read more HERE


Better Vocational Options Lead to Fewer Dropouts from Education and Training

Early findings of a Europe-wide Cedefop study of the effect of vocational education and training (VET) on the dropout rate reveal that this effect is largely positive.

In countries where vocational pathways account for a large share of education and training, rates of early school leaving are below the EU target for 2020 (10%). Conversely, in countries where VET lags behind, the dropout rate is higher than 10%; in some cases, significantly so. The findings were discussed at an expert workshop organised by Cedefop in Thessaloniki  on 3rd and 4th of June.

The study also addresses the lack of commonly accepted definition of early leavers from vocational education and training. Data at EU level and in many countries do not accurately track young people as they leave and re-enter learning environments and/or the labour market. The study has found that over 97% of early leavers are dropouts, with the remainder being young people who never start post-compulsory education and training.

Read more HERE


Mainstreaming ICT Enabled Innovation in Education and Training in Europe: Policy Actions for Sustainability, Scalability and Impact at System Level

In this report, policy recommendations for up calling creative classrooms are presented. Almost 150 experts participated in on line consultation and evaluated the 60 policy recommendations, which were collected at several stages of the project. The recommendations were clustered into seven dimensions presenting a holistic agenda for education reform: content and curricula, assessment, school staff professional development, research, organisation and leadership, connectedness and infrastructure.

Policy on the EU level as well as on local, regional and school level should support agents of change in their mainstreaming and up-scaling innovative practices. The online consultation revealed the following dimensions as most important: school staff professional development, infrastructure and assessment. In general however, there was broad agreement that all the dimensions need to be addressed for further developing and mainstreaming ICT- enabled innovation for learning in Europe.


Call for Papers on Performance Support & Learning Analytics (Deadline: 27 July 2014)

This issue of eLearning Papers seeks to generate debate and bring together critical voices to discuss this fluid and interdisciplinary research area. Submissions are invited for both the In-depth and From the field sections in the form of theoretical or empirical research, based on (but not restricted to) the following topics:

  • Performance support tools (checklists, wizards, sidekicks, planners)
  • Learning in the workplace
  • In-service teacher training and performance support
  • Competences addressed with performance support i.e. new curriculum with performance support system
  • Continuing education and professional development
  • Q&A in performance support
  • Learning analytics potential to unveil individual learning styles
  • Learning analytics: adaptation and customization of learning
  • Educational data mining
  • Big data for business intelligence

Guest editor: Fabrizio Cardinali, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer at sedApta


Survey: Meeting Teachers' Co-design Needs by Means of Integrated Learning Design Environment

The Metis project is developing an Integrated Learning Design Environment (ILDE) that brings together a set of existing learning design tools. Their current survey seeks to identify requirements and additional features to include in the next release of the ILDE.

The Metis project has already developed a pilot version of the ILDE which has been tested in three pilot workshops and enactments in real-world conditions. So far, the ILDE has been based on a set of scenarios that were identified by members of the Metis Consortium.

This survey is intended to identify additional scenarios that would be relevant to other institutions beyond the consortium members. The results from the survey will be used to identify necessary refinements and additional requirements that shall be considered in one of the next releases of the ILDE. The final ILDE will be openly released in February 2015.

The online survey is for researchers, teachers, learning designers, managers, administrators, software developers, learning technologists, and anyone else with an interest in learning design. The survey is available in English, in Spanish, in Italian, and in German.


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. 



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

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has released a report, titled ‘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.


Safe Seafood Project Develops Tools for Detection of Pharmaceutical Residues

Significant 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.

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:


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.


ARRAINA 'Technology for Novel Fish Feeds' Course

The 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 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



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

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