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.. Present exploitation levels change ecosystem dynamics and therefore innovative and sustainable solutions are necessary to preserve marine biodiversity and ecosystem functions. Aquaculture, for example, is often regarded as the solution to provide mankind with the required marine proteins and oils, but recent experiences show that still a lot needs 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 integrated ecosystem based management and governance.

The students can specialize in three fields:
a) Aquaculture
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.

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 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.

c) Marine Governance
This specialisation focuses 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 analysed, alternatives are developed and their effects        are evaluated in relation to both organizations and ecosystems involved.

– 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 one 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.

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.

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’

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