Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management

Wageningen University

Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management

Oceans, seas, estuaries and lakes have always been a main source of food for man. For numerous species present exploitation levels have bypassed the carrying capacity of these ecosystems, leading to devastating effects on the biodiversity and ecosystem functions. Therefore Aquaculture is evolving into a multi-disciplinary industry which is sustainable and socially equitable. Fisheries is in transition to Marine Resource Management, from a focus on ‘human centred management’ towards ‘ecosystem based management’. Since society is requesting sustainable fisheries and its certification, also new governance systems are needed.


‘Life History of Aquatic Organisms’

All students of the study programme start with the course ‘Life History of Aquatic Organisms’. The course deals with the biology and ecology of aquatic organisms, especially in the light of life history theory.

‘Marine Systems’

The course ‘Marine Systems’ deals with the principles of marine ecology and the governance of marine systems. The core element of the course is a case study, done by groups of four students and dealing with prominent issues in the management of marine ecosystems all over the world. Part of the trip is boat trip on the North Sea and the Wadden Sea.

‘Marine Environmental Quality and Governance’

In the course ‘Marine Environmental Quality and Governance’ student get the opportunity to integrate the perspectives of both natural and social sciences into practical marine environmental research and policy. The course enables students to explore the possible role of science in the public policy process by bringing together the key concepts in environmental toxicology, water quality, public administration and environmental governance.

‘Academic Master Cluster’

After the common basis, students choose their specialisation, including their thesis and internship. However, it is very important that students learn to integrate and share their knowledge and learn through experience how to cooperate in a multidisciplinary team. This interaction is realised in the ‘Academic Master Cluster’. The concept course schedule can be found in the three different specialisations


Skills of a graduate

After successful completion of the MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management the graduate is expected to be able to:

  1. Analyse the physiology, ecology and management of aquatic organisms and marine ecosystems.
  2. Analyse critically the social dynamics of the utilisation of marine resources, and the conservation and restoration of marine ecosystems.
  3. Evaluate different stakeholder positions, including the role of the expert and reflect upon cross-disciplinary views on marine ecosystem and aquatic production issues.
  4. Analyse critically the ethical and societal consequences of production of aquatic organisms and use of marine ecosystems, define dilemmas and design possible solutions.
  5. Design a research plan in which the problem definition, hypothesis, research objectives and research questions are described in relation to relevant literature.
  6. 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.
  7. Co-operate in an interdisciplinary and international team to perform project-based work.
  8. 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.
  9. Reflect upon personal knowledge, skills, attitudes and functioning, both individually and in discussions with others and design and plan their own study path.

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