Research of the Aquaculture and Fisheries Group

“Fisheries” stands for management and exploitation of natural fish populations. Aquaculture is farming of aquatic animals. AFI must develop the dual scientific fields of aquaculture and fisheries.  AFI has developed a common approach for the two fields, combining research at the animal level with ecological and technical research at the level of the environment in which the animal lives.  In line with its objectives, AFI contributes to innovations in aquaculture by studying the interactions of feeds, digestive processes, and the faecal and metabolic waste produced by the animal, on one hand, with the water quality and microbial ecology of the rearing environment, on the other hand. In our fisheries work, we analyse how factors such as fisheries exploitation, climate change, eutrophication and socio-economic environments affect the structure of fish communities, food-web dynamics, and their resilience.  This leads to four different research lines.

The bio-technical basis for the development of innovations in aquaculture and fisheries constitute the two core lines of research with currently resp. 1.2 FTE (Schrama, Verdegem, Eding, Verreth) and 0.65 FTE (Rijnsdorp, van Zwieten, Nagelkerke) staff research input.

A third, interdisciplinary, line of research (0.3 fte; Verreth, Bosma, van Zwieten) analyses how innovations in aquaculture and fisheries are implemented in relation to their social-ecological context.

Marine invertebrate aquaculture is the fourth research line (0.28fte; Osinga, Smaal) and capitalizes on the strategic choice of Wageningen UR to develop a national profile in marine resources management.

Our academic group closely works with Wageningen Marine Research, the leading Dutch organisation in marine fisheries. Wageningen Marine Research has seconded two endowed Chairs to AFI: Prof. Rijnsdorp holds a   professorship in marine fisheries and Prof. Smaal holds a professorship in shellfish aquaculture.

For more information about Wageningen Marine Research, please see link

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For more information about our Staff members, please see link