About Aqua-tnet

Aqua-tnet is the European Thematic Network in the field of aquaculture, fisheries and aquatic resources management. The network is presently funded under the European Commission Lifelong Learning Programme, running from 2011-2014.

Our story & achievements

Set up in 1996 as a tightly-knit collaboration of university departments and research institutes, Aqua-tnets ground-breaking work in educational reforms led to a steady expansion and by 2005 it had become the largest multidisciplinary European Education Network in the field of aquaculture, fisheries and aquatic resources management.  Aqua-tnet continues its leading co-operative role between higher education institutions and other partners such as academic organisations, research institutions and industry, aiming to enhance quality and to define and develop a European dimension within its academic disciplines.

Its multi-faceted approach has enabled Aqua-tnet to make a real contribution to uniting academic and vocational aspects of the Bologna reforms, aiming for greater compatibility and comparability of the systems of higher education in Europe. 

All outputs and results of AQUA-TNET2005-2008, the previous phase of Aqua-tnet, can be found on: http://www.archive.aquatnet.com/

The next chapter

In the decade up to 2020 European Higher Education has been singled out as having a vital and innovative contribution to make in realising a Europe of knowledge. Aqua-tnet supports the establishment of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) in the aquaculture, fisheries and aquatic resources management sectors. The new phase commenced in 2008, with the aim of driving forward ongoing and proposed Bologna HE priorities (London 2007, Louvain 2009) and the parallel VET priorities as set out in the Helsinki (2006) and Bordeaux (2008) Communiqués.

The fundamentals

New global challenges demand a constant focus on education quality. The current aqua-tnet work plan is structured into eight work packages dealing with higher education priorities, as set out by the EU for the coming decade. Ongoing work includes improving mobility, promoting lifelong learning in its many aspects, as well as innovatory teaching and language learning deliverables. Four overarching work packages concern the needs of industry, research, students and consumers. Aqua-tnet strengthens communication between teaching and research; it provides a forum for all stakeholders to have input into the development of the workforce; and in doing so it helps to maintain a sustainable sector.

Membership benefits

The network secretariat provides considerable benefits to aqua-tnet members. Our customised publications include;

  • A monthly e-newsletter, Training News, with a global readership of over 5,500 highlighting training developments, collaboration opportunities, upcoming events, a student corner and more;
  • The aqua-tnet newsletter, published monthly to highlight network events;
  • BibMail provides an overview of the contents of major aquaculture-relevant scientific journals;
  • Information of Interest is an overview of interesting publications, reports, and manuals relating broadly to aquaculture, with links to relevant files and contact information.
  • PiscesTT jobs, the online recruitment service for aquaculture and related sciences, averaging more than twenty new jobs per month, is widely used by members.

Key milestones

Highlights and key milestones include;

  • Annual working meetings for each of the nine core work package groups.
  • An annual event bringing together all network members for stimulating debates on key issues in the sector. 
  • Extensive surveys of target audiences, carried out by the core work package groups, and publication of the results and recommendations.
  • Data collection and the creation of a comprehensive web portal www.aquatnet.com - containing data bases on mobility opportunities, course databases, and innovative teaching resources.