Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management (MAM) / MSc


Oceans, seas, estuaries and lakes are major providers of ecosystem goods and services such as food, tourism and coastal protection. While current exploitation levels change ecosystem dynamics, the oceans and coasts also offer great untapped potential for blue growth. Aquaculture is one of the potential solutions to provide mankind with the required marine proteins and oils. In unlocking and preserving the economic potential of world's marine regions and ecosystems sustainable, integrated and interdisciplinary approaches are needed, that combine technological, ecological and socio-economical knowledge. The Master of Science in Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management aims to equip its students with the outlook, concepts and tools to contribute to sustainable blue growth of marine regions and ecosystems. The program encompasses an interdisciplinary set of common courses for an international set of students, providing the technological, biological, ecological and socio-economical knowledge base for the three specialisations. The programme combines the generation of specialised scientific knowledge and its application in an interdisciplinary and practical setting through a consultancy-based course and internship. Students specialize in one of three fields:

a) Aquaculture
This specialisation deals with the culture of all types of aquatic organisms (such as finfish, shrimp, shellfish, corrals, sponges and algae) in a wide range of culture conditions (from sea enclosures to semi-extensive ponds and high-tech recirculation systems). Students will develop in-depth knowledge and skills on biology and physiology of aquatic animals and on system management for maintaining a healthy production environment combined with insight in economic and social driving factors.

b) Marine Resources and Ecology
This specialization focuses on the sensitivity of marine communities in relation to human interventions, including climate change, fisheries and habitat destruction. Sustainable management of marine living resources include models of population dynamics and fishing yield, international regulations, management tools and the economics of resource use. Students will understand how these models are used as well as develop insights on the ecological processes that form the basis for marine food chains, the interaction between species and the functioning of the different ecosystems.

c) Marine Governance
This specialisation will give students the analytical skills and tools to understand emerging trends in marine governance and propose innovative solutions for effective and legitimate governance. This specialisation focuses on social, economic and political processes governing the use, management and politics of marine resources. Students will become proficient in the design and function of national and international public regimes, including the European Union and United Nations, and a range of new private governance instruments, such as eco-certification and environmental credits.

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this MSc programme graduates are expected to be able to:
- analyse the physiology, ecology and management of aquatic organisms and marine ecosystems;
- analyse critically the social dynamics of the utilisation of marine resources, and the conservation and restoration of marine ecosystems;
- evaluate different stakeholder positions, including the role of the expert and reflect upon cross-disciplinary views on marine ecosystem and aquatic production issues;
- analyse critically the ethical and societal consequences of production of aquatic organisms and use of marine ecosystems, define dilemmas and design possible solutions;
- design a research plan in which the problem definition, hypothesis, research objectives and research questions are described in relation to relevant literature;
- apply appropriate research methods and techniques, including gathering new information and integrating this in existing theories in order to test the scientific hypotheses by gathering new information and by integrating this in existing theories;
- co-operate in an interdisciplinary and international team to perform project-based work;
- communicate clearly (verbally and in writing) about the results of project and research work with specialists and non-specialists considering the nature of the target group;
- reflect upon personal knowledge, skills, attitudes and functioning, both individually and in discussions with others and design and plan their own study path.

and, in addition, for Specialization A; Aquaculture:
- to design optimal and sustainable production of fish and other marine organisms in a global perspective.

for Specialization B; Marine Resources and Ecology:
- to evaluate limiting factors in order to be able to contribute to an improved biodiversity, environmental quality and sustainability of marine ecosystems.

for Specialization C; Marine Governance:
- to evaluate existing arrangements in order to design strategies for the governance and management of sustainable marine ecosystems and aquatic resources.


- Aquaculture
- Marine Resources and Ecology
- Marine Governance

Programme Director

Ir M.V. Coppens
Phone: 0317-(4)82407

Study Adviser(s)

Dr M.C.J Verdegem
Phone: 0317-(4)84584/(4)83307

Programme Committee

Chair: Dr ir J.W. Schrama
Secretary: Ir M.V. Coppens


Study Association

Sub association 'Aquarius', part of 'De Veetelers'