Oceans, seas, estuaries and lakes have been a major source of food since the origin of man. Unfortunately, present exploitation levels have bypassed the carrying capacity of these ecosystems, leading to devastating effects on the biodiversity and ecosystem functions. Aquaculture is often regarded as the solution to provide mankind with the required marine proteins and oils, but recent experiences show that still a lot need to be done to make aquaculture a sustainable industry. Therefore, Marine and Aquatic Resource Management is currently in a transition phase, from a focus on optimising harvests towards a holistic ecosystem based management.
The students can specialize in three fields:
This field deals with the culture of numerous aquatic organisms (such as finfish, shrimp, shellfish, ornamental fish, corrals, sponges and algae) in a wide range of culture environment (from sea enclosures to semi-extensive ponds and high-tech recirculation systems). It requires a thorough knowledge and skills to maintain the biological, physical and chemical integrity of water bodies and insight in economic and social driving factors. The learning outcome of this specialization is to design optimal and sustainable production of fish and other marine organisms in a global perspective.
-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 the living resources in the sea include models of population dynamics and fishing yield, international regulations, management tools and economic driving forces. It also requires insight on the ecological processes, that form the basis for marine food chains, the interaction between species and the functioning of the different ecosystems. This is summarized in the learning outcome: to evaluate limiting factors in order to be able to contribute to an improved biodiversity, environmental quality and sustainability of marine ecosystems.
Here the focus is on the sustainable governance and economics of marine and coastal systems. The goals and strategies of commercial enterprises, non-governmental and governmental organizations and international institutions are analyzed, alternatives are developed and their effects are evaluated in relation to both organizations and ecosystems involved. This summarized in the learning outcome: to design goals and strategies for the governance and management of sustainable marine ecosystems and aquatic resources.
Research Master Variant
Students with a strong interest in research can, in consultation with and after approval of their study adviser, choose for a research oriented variant of the MSc. Within this variant, the focus will be on a future career in science. It implies that the student has to meet the following criteria: (1) at least four advanced courses should be taken, (2) a second thesis should be undertaken instead of and internship, (3) at least on of both theses has to be (partly) executed abroad, (4) the student has to choose YAS-60312 Research Master Cluster as RO1 in the common part, and (5) only two courses at BSc level in the optional or RO0 part of the programme are allowed.
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.
- Aquaculture (A)
- Marine Resources and Ecology (B)
- Marine Governance (C)
Dr ir W.K.P. van Loon
Dr M.C.J Verdegem
Chair: Dr ir J.W. Schrama
Secretary: Dr ir W.K.P. van Loon
Sub association 'Aquarius', part of 'De Veetelers'