Semester 2

In Semester 2 of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master degree in AquaCulture, Environment and Society + (EMJMD ACES+), students will study at the University of Crete (Marine Biology group at the Department of Biology) in Greece, a centre of excellence focusing on fish physiology, endocrinology, behaviour, welfare and innovative new methodologies that test fish and product quality. The University of Crete also specialises in the aquaculture-environmental interactions of Mediterranean marine species.
Key staff include; 2 Professors and 2 Associate Professors with international reputations in aquaculture-related topics. They also have considerable experience in co-ordinating Erasmus placements in industry.
MODULE 4: Managing Lifecycles in Captivity: finfish biology, nutrition, reproduction and rearing (Core: 6 ECTS)

Module Leader: Prof Michalis Pavlidis

Description Students will gain extensive, detailed and critical knowledge of the main features, techniques and current research on the biology of marine and freshwater farmed fin-fish species. Students will use a significant range of standard and specialised research equipment and techniques which are applicable to the rearing systems used during the whole life-cycle of aquaculture fish. Students will also gain a critical understanding of how the aquaculture industry manage the biological life-cycles of fin-fish and critically review, consolidate and extend their knowledge in thinking applicable to the critical points of production.

Indicative content includes:

  • Early life stages, major differences and critical points of development for marine (gilthead sea bream, European sea bass) and freshwater (rainbow trout, Atlantic salmon, common carp) aquaculture fish
  • An introduction to feeding and nutrition
  • Reproductive biology and broodstock management
  • Fish behaviour
  • An introduction to stress and welfare aspects and indicators
  • Pathology and disease prevention
  • Genetic selection and stock improvement
  • An introduction to fish quality aspects and indicators
Teaching methods Seminars, tutorials, guided uses of open learning materials, 10 day research period at industry research centre
Assessment Written practical report (50%) and structured essay (50%)
MODULE 5: Fish Welfare and Disease Management (Core: 6 ECTS)

Module Leader: Prof Maroudio Kentouri

Description Feed is the largest production cost for commercial aquaculture and thus, improving feed efficiency in industrial systems is a major priority. Furthermore, global production of farmed fish has more than doubled over the past 15 years, while prices of principal raw materials (especially fish meal and fish oil) have significantly risen. Trying to achieve a profitable aquaculture industry, species specific diets are required along with guidelines to introduce them in the rearing process. Students will gain extensive knowledge that covers and integrates the main features, techniques and current research on the diversification and sustainability of aquaculture nutrition.

Indicative content includes:

  • Nutritional requirements of farmed fish in aquaculture (Protein, lipids, carbohydrates, energy, vitamins and minerals)
  • Live prey (phytoplankton, zooplankton): new management methods for mass production, nutritional value, feeding strategies and automation.
  • Feed resources. Current problems with raw materials.
  • Anti-nutritional factors and nutritional diseases.
  • Feed formulation and manufacturing.
  • Optimisation of the digestibility and the efficiency of the feed (e.g., Feed extrusion, Prebiotics, Probiotics).
  • Feeding systems, bio-energetic requirements and feeding algorithms.
  • Biological feeds
Teaching methods Seminars, tutorials, guided use of open learning materials, 10 day research placement at aquaculture / feed manufacturers
Assessment Written assignment (100%)
MODULE 6a: Fish Quality – Environmental and Genetic Components (Optional: 6 ECTS)

Module Leader: Prof Michalis Pavlidis

Description Students will gain an extensive and critical understanding of the different aspects of quality of reared fish, as a developing organism and as a final product under the prism of animal welfare. Students will apply a critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of knowledge regarding the factors which determine fish quality. Students will also critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge of the latest skills and techniques for the assessment and improvement of fish quality.

Indicative content includes:

  • Quality aspects of reared finfish, quality indices and critical phases of production (overview)
  • Compositional and organoleptic quality of farmed finfish
  • Morpho-anatomical abnormalities
  • Reproductive (gamete) quality
  • Immunological, physiological and behavioural aspects of quality
  • Phenotypic plasticity: manipulating early environment to control normal variation of quality characteristics (morphology, sex ratio, growth potential, behaviour)
  • Certification norms and procedures – Legislation
  • Fish welfare: Science, philosophy and society
Teaching methods Seminars, tutorials, guided use of open learning materials, research period at industry research centre
Assessment Written assignment (100%)
MODULE 6b: Environmental Impact Assessment for Aquaculture Projects (Optional: 6 ECTS)

Module Leader: Prof I Karakassis

Description Students will develop a critical understanding of the Environmental Impact Assessment process and its’ application on Aquaculture projects. They will acquire an extensive, detailed and critical knowledge of the available methods and tools for the prediction of impacts at various spatial scales. Students will critically review, consolidate and extent knowledge of the range of approaches used for site selection and determination of the carrying capacity of aquaculture. Students will also gain a critical awareness of the importance of the participation of stakeholders in the EIA process in the context of the Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture.

Indicative content includes:

  • Principles of the Environmental impact Assessment and the Strategic Environmental Assessment
  • Introduction to the relevant information on environmental interactions of aquaculture
  • Review of the appropriate scales for the detection of different environmental impacts
  • Quantitative relationships between production and impact
  • Aquaculture in the coastal zone: conflicts with other uses of the marine and coastal environment
  • Types of prediction models
  • Available mitigation measures
  • Monitoring of environmental impacts: principles, standards and methods and cost/benefit analysis of the methodologies used
  • Site selection and carrying capacity
  • Environmental Audit
  • Participation of stakeholders in decision making
  • Harmonization of international policies and standards with emphasis on Mediterranean international initiatives and relevant EU Directives (WFD, MSFD)
Teaching methods Seminars, tutorials, guest lectures, guided use of open learning materials, 10 day research period at industry research centre
Assessment Written critique of methods (50%) and structured essay based on simulation exercise (50%)