The executive board of Wageningen University & Research (WUR) has appointed dr ir. Tom Buijse as Extraordinary Professor of Freshwater Fish Ecology. The chair, which is installed from 1 April, is funded by Deltares and the Royal Dutch Angling Association Sportvisserij Nederland. The research is partly funded by the Dutch Foundation for Applied Water Research STOWA and Rijkswaterstaat.
Fish populations in rivers and lakes are in steep decline across the globe. Not just as a result of poor water quality, but nowadays even more due to dams and other barriers, river regulation and controlled water levels. Effective conservation and recovery of fish populations demand cross-sectoral management of inland waterways, supported by interdisciplinary research.
Tom Buijse considers it the ambition of his chair to link (both commercial and recreational) fishery, fish ecology and the health of aquatic ecosystems as well as to collaborate with social sciences to promote adequate management and improve public awareness and appreciation. He is committed to stimulating cooperation between Wageningen University & Research and various stakeholder organisations representing water, fisheries and nature management, in order to provide scientific insights to benefit the management of fisheries and aquatic ecosystems.
Freshwater fish populations are vital to the food supply, human wellbeing and as an indicator for the ecological status of rivers and lakes. The new chair will strive to create a better link between fishery management and water and nature management, to conserve, and where necessary recover, fish populations. There will be close cooperation with Wageningen Marine Research. This type of inclusive fisheries management, in collaboration with all stakeholders, will contribute to an ecosystems approach to fishery resources in inland waters.
Tom Buijse’s chair Freshwater Fish Ecology is part of the chair group Aquaculture and Fisheries of Wageningen University & Research, which is managed by prof. Geert Wiegertjes.
Tom Buijse (1962) studied at Wageningen University & Research and obtained his PhD in 1992 on the dynamics of fishery populations in shallow waters. Buijse worked for Rijkswaterstaat for fifteen years. His expertise on the potential to restore multifunctional freshwater ecosystems was applied to achieve the European Framework Water targets. Since 2008 Buijse works as ecology expert for Deltares. In this position, he amongst others coordinated the EU REFORM (Restoring Rivers for Effective Catchment Management) project.