AquaTT Training News - Newsletter 15 2017

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03 July 2020
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Training News is a free e-mail news service provided by AquaTT on education, training, news and events in marine science, aquaculture and related sectors. The newsletter currently reaches more than 5,000 international recipients on a monthly basis. Please submit any relevant information for inclusion in next month's edition to Please CLICK HERE to go to the archives of AquaTT Training News and Announcements.




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For information on all educational opportunities (courses, workshops, etc.), as well as general events (conferences, meetings, etc.) please refer to the AquaTT Announcement newsletter which is sent out with Training News. A comprehensive overview of all events is given in the AquaTT Calendar.




INvertebrateIT, a New Innovative Project for a Competitive and Sustainable European Aquaculture

INvertebrateIT (Disruptive and forward-looking opportunities for competitive and sustainable aquaculture), is a new innovative project funded under the European Union’s Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) programme in the field of ‘transfer of innovative solutions to sea basin economies’. Coordinated by Innogate to Europe (INNO) from Spain, this two-year project brings together seven partners from five countries across Europe that seek to promote and exploit the value chain of production of invertebrates, such as insects, for sustainable fish feeds, competitive aquaculture and integrated waste management.

INvertebrateIT aims to help aquaculture operators mitigate their current dependence on costly, volatile, and often unsustainable fish feeds; to diversify their business; and to contribute to a better management of valuable organic waste and/or new algal substrates for invertebrate production. This proposed integrated scheme builds on available technology in insect production and strategic policy for the aquaculture and waste sectors.

INvertebrateIT officially began on 1 April 2017 and will run until March 2019. The starting point of this venture was the project kick-off meeting, held in Porto (Portugal) from 6-7 June 2017, where representatives from all partner organisations met to discuss the project activities to be undertaken, with the main focus on the actions of the first year. 


Please follow us on Twitter (@INvertebrateIT) to be kept up to date on the project, its progress and events attended by the consortium.


COLUMBUS Leads Joint Workshop on Communication Gaps in Marine Biotechnology

The marine environment represents a massive repository of untapped biological resources with countless potential applications in biotechnology. Yet, the path from research to commercialisation in marine biotechnology is strewn with technical, administrative, and cultural obstacles that have slowed the pace of development of novel products and applications in the field. In a roadmap produced for the European Commission, the Marine Biotechnology European Research Area Network (ERA-MBT) identified communication between stakeholders – including researchers, venture capitalists, policy makers, industrialists, and others – as a key weakness in the further development of European marine biotechnology.

On 1 June 2017, COLUMBUS partnered with the ERA-MBT to hold an intense one-day workshop in Brussels, Belgium. A variety of stakeholders, including investors, researchers, legal experts, and business leaders, participated in highly-interactive sessions to discuss communication gaps in the marine biotechnology value chain and develop concrete ideas for how best to address them.

COLUMBUS used a pre-conference survey of the attendees to develop a workshop that began with a presentation on how varying stakeholders perceive gaps in the marine biotechnology value chain. Using three case studies drawn from participants’ research, in the morning session a carousel activity utilised the COLUMBUS methodology to encourage actors from different stages of the research-to-product cycle to identify precisely how communication challenges had negatively affected the development chain, as well as any actions that had successfully overcome these obstacles. Having done this, the workshop members then collaborated on an exercise that focused on brainstorming mutually-agreeable and substantive solutions that could feasibly overcome the underlying thematic issues which had emerged from the morning session.

The interactive nature of the conference encouraged vigorous and productive debates. However, rather than simply stating their opinions on solutions, participants used the COLUMBUS methodology and case studies to identify end users and develop knowledge output pathways that provided more tangible strategies for overcoming communication barriers. The positive reception of this technique, and the many ideas it produced, demonstrate how the COLUMBUS methodology can be used in other projects to improve their own research-to-application efforts.

For more information on COLUMBUS, please visit the project website on COLUMBUS or contact the project manager, Cliona Ní Cheallacháin, AquaTT, at


COLUMBUS Looks at the Challenges and Opportunities in the Provision and Re-Use of Marine Data by the Private Sector

Many COLUMBUS partners attended this year’s European Maritime Day, “The Future of our Seas”, held in Poole, UK, on 18-19 May 2017. EMODnet, under the COLUMBUS project, co-organised a workshop, Blue Growth Data Challenge Part 1: Engaging Industry, to discuss the challenges and opportunities in involving the private sector in the provision and re-use of marine data.

Three presentations framed the discussions, based on: Experiences of the MAREANO project in involving industry as both users and providers of marine data; The EMODnet Data Ingestion Facility and how it targets privately held marine data resources to unlock these for re-use; and WOC’s Smart Ocean Smart Industries programme and how smart public-private collaborations could be implemented to improve our ocean knowledge.

The following plenary discussion focused on how to improve industry-public collaboration and overcome some of the bottlenecks which hinder efficient transfer of marine data between both communities. Some of the interventions stressed the importance of using brokers/intermediaries to improve the dialogue with industry and develop a clearer understanding of their specific requirements, in relation to data sharing and re-use, in order to better serve their needs. In terms of accessing more data from privately-held sources, the need to develop flexible business models, building on existing commercial data practices and policies, was emphasised.

The COLUMBUS good-practice guide on "Use and sharing of marine observations and data by industry" was launched at this event, and acts as a valuable compilation which sheds light on how to overcome some of the identified barriers. 


The full report and presentations will be made available at: 

For more information on COLUMBUS, please visit the project website on or contact the project manager, Cliona Ní Cheallacháin, AquaTT, at


Save The Dates – COLUMBUS Knowledge Transfer Conferences

COLUMBUS Logo Colour

The COLUMBUS project is pleased to announce the dates for the next two COLUMBUS Knowledge Transfer conferences. Representing the European Commission’s most substantial investment in Knowledge Transfer to date, COLUMBUS intends to capitalise on the Commission’s much larger expenditure on marine and maritime research; by ensuring accessibility and uptake of research Knowledge Outputs by end users, policy, industry, science and wider society.

The first COLUMBUS Annual Conference “Realising the Impact of Marine and Maritime Research through Knowledge Transfer” was held in Brussels on 2 March 2016 and was an exciting success, where participants looked at the increasingly important areas of defining impact from EU funded research and how to achieve it through Knowledge Transfer.

The second COLUMBUS conference titled “Achieving Impact from Marine Research” will be held on 7 November 2017, with location to be determined. This conference will offer participants an opportunity to collaboratively explore the barriers, challenges and possible solutions to achieving the impact potential of marine and maritime research, at all stages of the funding cycle. It will be an international forum to bring together actors interested in sharing best practice and learning about initiatives and sectoral progress in Knowledge Transfer.

The final COLUMBUS annual event, “Making Marine and Maritime Science Count”, will provide an opportunity to discover and celebrate the COLUMBUS Knowledge Transfer methodology and its activities. This conference will be held in Brussels on the 24 January 2018, and will bring together partners, collaborators and interested parties to highlight Knowledge Transfer case studies and lessons learned through the work performed by the COLUMBUS project. This international event will also host the launch of the COLUMBUS Knowledge Transfer handbook and recommendations for European and national funding agencies to embed Knowledge Transfer systems in current and future funding mechanisms. 

External Capacity training on the COLUMBUS Knowledge Transfer methodology will be provided in advance of each conference. Winners of the COLUMBUS Blue Society award for impactful Knowledge Transfer will also be announced at both events. Details on the nomination process will be available on the COLUMBUS website shortly. 

Registration will take place through the project website over the coming months. To register interest for either event or for specific information on the COLUMBUS project, contact the COLUMBUS Project Manager Cliona Ní Cheallacháin (

For more information on COLUMBUS, please visit the project website ( 


Survey: Can Open Educational Resources Revolutionise Aquatic Sciences Education?

An MSc candidate at the University of Stirling is currently looking for people to take part in a survey related to their research. Alexandra Pound’s survey, titled “Can Open Educational Resources Revolutionise Aquatic Sciences Education?”, seeks to answer several questions. Primary amongst these questions is: would aquatic sciences students and educators benefit from (and want to use) open educational resources (OERs)? Would students be willing to create, and openly distribute, their own educational materials? The survey will also assess whether institutes could potentially benefit from having their own OERs.

The research aims to contribute towards the Aqua-tnet and EURASTiP projects’ initiative on training and education links between Europe and Asia by examining perspectives and use of OERs in aquatic sciences higher education across the world.

The survey can be found here:



Recent ParaFishControl Research Featured in International Aquafeed, Issue June 2017

ParaFishControl Logo Colour

Parasitic diseases affecting fish can significantly impact aquaculture production and economic performance. ParaFishControl is a European Union Horizon 2020 funded research project addressing the challenges of parasitic disease prevention and management, aimed at assuring the sustainability and competitiveness of the European aquaculture industry.


One of the key goals of the strategic agenda of the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform (EATiP) is to improve fish health and welfare by increasing the understanding of host-pathogen interactions and to provide access to effective vaccines and immune-modulators. Aligned with this ambition, ParaFishControl’s tasks are to improve understanding of fish-parasite interactions and  to develop effective management tools. Such tools include: diagnostic tests, vaccines, innovative treatments, aquafeed solutions, risk maps, best practice handbooks, and management manuals for the prevention, control and mitigation of the most harmful parasitic species affecting key European farmed fish species. There are nine different groups of these parasites, which vary in size from tiny unicellular organisms through fungi to worms. 

To read the full article in International Aquafeed, June edition 2017, pages 14-19, please visit:

To find out more about ParaFishControl and its ongoing research and findings, please visit:


ATLAS Workshops at European Maritime Day 2017


 European Maritime Day is the annual meeting point for Europe’s maritime community. This year’s event had the theme “The Future of Our Seas” and was held in Poole, UK, from 18-19 May 2017. 

28 parallel sessions and project pitches took place over the two days, including the “Blue Growth Data Workshops Part 1 and 2” which ATLAS team members helped organise. 

For the second workshop, “Offshore Energy Case Studies - Involving industry in marine data initiatives”, ATLAS joined together with the INSITE programme ( to address data issues pertinent to specific Blue Growth challenges such as oil/gas decommissioning and marine renewable installation. 

Speakers at the second workshop included Niall McDonough (Executive Secretary, European Marine Board), Richard Heard (Programme Director, INSITE), Mark Johnston (BP), Chelsea Bradbury (Marine Data Advisor, Crown Estate), Silvia Camporeale (Researcher, Università Bicocca Milano – Territorial Economy (CRIET) for the Italian Ministry of Economic Development) and Valter Martinotti ("Safe and Sustainable Decommissioning" Project Manager, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development). The session was chaired by the ATLAS Coordinator Murray Roberts.


The main message from the Offshore Energy Case Studies workshop was that emerging marine industries in sea basins across Europe would benefit from the lessons learnt during North Sea decommissioning and the need to consider the full lifecycle of the oil or gas structure. Regarding data acquisition and sharing, feasibility studies for a variety of maritime industries can produce a wealth of data that needs to be gathered and stored in a central data repository before it is lost.

In addition, compared to biological data, physics and chemistry datasets are significantly easier to standardise and produce data products from. So, what needs to be done to standardisation of biological data? Some recommendations included: 1) Environmental data sets need to be future proofed by thinking about potential future uses and collecting marine environmental data at the highest possible resolution; 2) Standardise collection techniques for time series data to allow comparisons to be made across years and datasets; and 3) Consideration of mapping the North Sea basin and making it a freely available public asset. To make proactive steps towards achieving this, ongoing dialogue needs to continue to take place between regulators, data providers (industry) and data portals at the national and European scale. 

To find out more about ATLAS and its research and activities, please visit:


ATLAS Featured at Two Side Events at the UN Ocean Conference

The high-level United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”, was convened at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 5 to 9 June 2017, coinciding with World Oceans Day, to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14. 

ATLAS partners Prof David Johnson, Prof Ronan Long, Dr Jake Rice and Prof J Murray Roberts were all in attendance with ATLAS featured in two side events:


Deep-sea Science for Sustainable Development 

This was organised by the Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI), in partnership with the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Tonga to the United Nations, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). ATLAS coordinator Prof J Murray Roberts gave a presentation on behalf of ATLAS, entitled “Increasing scientific knowledge and developing capacity for sustainable management of North Atlantic ecosystems”.

 Ocean Acidification: What can we do about it?

This session was chaired by Gemma Harper, Deputy Director for Marine and Chief Social Scientist for the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Prof J Murray Roberts also presented in this session: “A focus on deep water ecosystems across the Atlantic – a multidisciplinary, international approach”.

To find out more about ATLAS and its research and activities, please visit: 

For more information on the UN Ocean Conference, please visit:


Crab Watchers Wanted: New Citizen Science Project to Monitor Crab Species

How does finding a crab on the beach make you feel? Excited? Wary? Fascinated? By joining Crab Watch, a new citizen science project taking place across Europe, your search for these captivating creatures will have the added incentive of contributing to scientific research.

Crab Watch launches on 28 June 2017 and invites citizens across Europe to play a key role in the scientific process by gathering valuable data to enhance our knowledge of the changing distribution of native and non-native crabs. By establishing a network of Crab Watchers to record and report crab distribution, it is hoped that new arrivals will be detected early and appropriate environmental management action can then be taken quickly.


Crab Watch is an initiative of the EU-funded Sea Change project which aims to increase European citizens’ understanding of the ocean’s influence on us and our influence on the ocean, also known as “Ocean Literacy”. By getting people to become Crab Watchers, visit their coastline and interact with marine creatures in a meaningful way, Sea Change hopes to encourage people to think positively about the ocean and to become advocates for healthy seas and a healthy planet.

Hannah Milburn from the Marine Biological Association, coordinators of Crab Watch and Sea Change, said: “Crabs are interesting creatures to search for when you’re by the coast. You can find them in all marine and some freshwater habitats around Europe and they have great commercial and cultural significance in many countries. However, crabs are easily impacted by human activities, including warming seas, the introduction of invasive species and overexploitation. This makes them an ideal subject to help demonstrate how our ocean is changing and what the impacts are.”


You can find everything you need to become a Crab Watcher, including the Crab App (coming soon), on the Sea Change website: Resources in a number of languages will be available in the coming weeks.



Student Corner


Practical Course on Geophysical Technologies for Underwater Archaeology Research

Geophysical Technologies have been used extensively by scientists to conduct investigations in several fields related to underwater research. New technology has recently become available, which makes incorporating these tools into projects an easier process. This course aims to be an introduction to several instruments used by students, and evaluate how they can be deployed in different research fields.

This course will consist of a one-day training course per instrument: MultiBeam, Slide Scan Sonar Sub Bottom Proflier and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). These will all take place on the Research Vessel UCADIZ.

See more details at:


Our Ocean Wealth Summit

Now in its fourth year, the 'Our Ocean Wealth Summit' forms a key part of the Irish Government's integrated Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth plan for Ireland's marine sector. The 2017 edition will take place in NUI Galway, and will bring together world renowned speakers, industry experts, business development agencies, and the Irish business and marine research community for focused discussions on this year's theme of “Rethinking Boundaries and Innovation for a Sustainable Marine Economy”.

The speakers include Tom Kelley of award-winning global design and development firm, IDEO, who will inspire business leaders to engage in creative thinking and challenge perspectives to encourage new ideas and approaches on how Ireland can continue to transform its marine industry.

See more details at:



Other News

Research Assistant Role Available – NUI Galway

A research assistant role as part of the Cleaner Fish Programme is currently available in the Carna Research Station, Ryan Institute, NUI Galway. The successful candidate will provide assistance in the development of a broodstock and breeding programme for lumpsucker for use in an integrated sea lice control management plan on commercial marine salmon farms in Ireland.

The full job description can be read on the NUI Galway research page.


New Sea Louse Treatment Nears Commercial Launch

A ground-breaking sea lice treatment is due to be launched by the UK-based Benchmark group in the coming months, according to a trading report released by the group. Benchmark's new state-of-the-art vaccine manufacturing facility in Braintree is being commissioned and first commercial batches are expected toward the end of the year.

Read the full story on ‘TheFishSite’


European Commission Calls all Aquaria to Join Global Awareness Raising Action about Marine Litter

Marine pollution is one of the key topics of the European Union's Our Ocean Conference. Every year millions of tons of litter end up in the ocean. It is estimated that by 2050 our seas could contain more plastic than fish. Participating aquaria will be provided with written material, giving key facts on the issue and proposing actions to citizens to prevent and fight against marine litter.

Read the full story on the European Commission website.


Integrating Consumer Expectations into the Supply Chain through Better and more Transparent Communication

Consumer habits gained centre stage at the Seafood Expo in Brussels on Tuesday 25 April. The European Commission hosted a much-needed debate on how to integrate consumer habits, demands and expectations into the supply chain and policy-making. A general agreement emerged that dialogue is essential. This will reinforce trust between industry, administrations and consumers and ensure the sustainable supply of high-quality fishery and aquaculture products for the generations to come.

The full report can be read on the European Commission website.


Bluefin Tuna Season 2017: EU Determined to Uphold High Control Standards in Bluefin Tuna Fishery

Over recent years, Bluefin tuna have gone from heavy over-exploitation to progressive recovery, thanks to a massive international effort led by the EU. To ensure continued sustainable management of the Bluefin tuna stock, the European Commission is committed to implement and even go beyond the international control measures for catches during the 2017 main fishing season. All necessary measures are being taken to ensure full compliance with the new provisions and ultimately the success of the recovery plan and long term sustainable management of the stock, in close collaboration with the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA), the Member States concerned and other International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Contracting Parties.

Read the full story on the European Commission website.



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DISCLAIMER: AquaTT provides this newsletter as a free service to interested parties. Most of the information is provided by AquaTT. Where it is not, the source of the news is provided in the text of the news brief or else AquaTT attributes the news to the coordinating body as the "Data Source Provider". In no way does this newsletter, by promoting events not coordinated by AquaTT, intend to wrongly or inappropriately claim projects, news, etc. as its own nor is it responsible for incorrect information provided from other sources. "Training News" is a promotional tool and forum for both AquaTT and other organisations.
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