Aqualex Blog

Pic for AMC

On 28th August the 11th anniversary of the Lindsay Laird Award was celebrated in Montpellier, France.

This year’s winner, Irene Brandts (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)received a iPad Mini, books from the 5M publishing company, Springer and Wiley Blackwell from judge and presenter Ms M.Eleftheriou (AQUALEX Multimedia Consortium, co-sponsor of the award with the Irish company AQUATT).

The winning poster was entitled ‘Do Differences in Coping Styles Influence Stress Response after Vaccination in Gilthead Sea Bream?’

Student winners of the award for innovation in aquaculture have so far come from Belgium, Spain, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Germany and Brazil.

This historic university city, close neighbour to Palavas-les-Flots, long known as an important location for French aquaculture, was very suitable as a venue for the EAS 42nd International Conference. But the city was also a happy choice for the prestigious Lindsay Laird award. Dr Laird not only translated G.Barnabe’s seminal 2-volume work on AQUACULTURE from French into English (1990), but also paid several visits to the city while working on the AQUALEX glossary.

AMC presentation and Round Table discussion at the stakeholder workshop held in Aberdeen on 17th May.


The topic? Occupational Profiling as a Mechanism to address Skills Gaps. Slides from the presentation can be found here.

 2 slides for MATES

Summary of the round table discussion:

  • It is important to find out how much the industry is consulted with regard to designing academic and other vocational courses.
  • It is also important for academic and vocational courses to have a feedback loop whereby their graduates work in the field in which they were trained. This is an important asset.
  • There is often a pressing need for graduates to have short training courses. Such short courses should fit into the Skills Portfolio. People should be able to show evidence or validation of what they have done, though not necessarily in terms of ECVET credits.
  • It is very important to have industry feed into the mechanisms for filling skills gaps.
  • It is extremely important for people in the sector to have a diverse set of skills. There is a need for multidisciplinary approach because of the unknown unknowns. When you look at a wind turbine training course. It can be quite detailed, but it might be interesting to do a wind turbine intro course for someone in other specialities- e.g. Consents and licensing or ecology.
  • Staff could earn the right to do short term sabbaticals, after a period of time, eg. after two years in post, a staff member could do a two-week training course in a subject not directly related to their work, or gain experience as an intern in another company
  • Training mechanisms needs to maintain a level of flexibility and/or customisability. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to addressing skills gaps. Mechanisms used by very large companies such as Google, whereby staff have opportunities to work on a project entirely separate from their usual work for one day a week in order to share experiences and learning with other staff and learn about other projects, are simply not feasible for smaller companies.
  • There is nevertheless a need for any new training mechanisms to be recognised or certified at a national or EU level

MATES is part of a European drive called the New Skills Agenda, aimed at reducing the mismatch between the skills people are taught and the skills required to meet the needs of rapidly changing labour markets. MATES, which specifically addresses skill shortages in the offshore renewable energy sector and the ship building sector, is gaining momentum with five stakeholder workshops completed across Greece, Portugal, the Netherlands, the UK and Spain. Project partners from CETMAR, ASIME, AQUATERA, and INDIGO Med also held a workshop at the European Maritime Day conference on 1 June in Burgas, Bulgaria.

Workshop Moderator Rosa Fernández Otero (CETMAR) said that the conference had provided MATES with an important opportunity to engage with key stakeholders from Europe’s maritime community and in particular, with professionals from the Black Sea region.

The workshop discussed:

  • the identification of technological challenges and training needs within the sectors
  • the stakeholders’ perception of these sectors
  • the opportunities which can be gained from Ocean Literacy activities to improve the sector's image.

These discussions promoted a genuine understanding of the current situation and main trends in the Black Sea region. The findings from these workshops will feed into the MATES long-term strategy for the offshore renewable energy and shipbuilding sectors.

The full Press Release (June 2018) can be found in the Media Section


The MATES project recently kicked off its series of maritime-focused workshops and announces that five workshops are to take place across Europe. The workshops will focus on how the evolution of the maritime sector is being influenced by technological advancements and labour market needs, in particular the need for new skills and new ways of delivering training and education.

The aim is to bring maritime experts together to create a forum for dynamic discussion, to help identify future activities required to meet these needs in the short, medium and long term. Industry experts in various fields have been invited to speak and the workshops will provide opportunities for networking. The MATES consortium welcomes professionals from a range of backgrounds to attend the workshops; in particular from the offshore renewable energy and shipbuilding sectors, education and training, scientific community, and representatives from companies and public administration. Further information can be obtained from the various workshop contacts (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

The outcomes of the workshops will feed into to a long-term strategy aiming to tackle the skill shortages in the maritime sectors of offshore renewable energy and shipbuilding, and in doing so, to contribute to a more resilient labour market. Further information on the project and activities is available at:

Full Press Release (may 2018) can be downloaded in the Media News Section.

AMC Ltd Language and Aquatic Science work is included in the Blue Skills Economy Expert Group as an example of best practice in its Lifelong Learning Group, for its " Articles on Positioning Lifelong Learning, Generic skills needs for marine sector graduates. Promotion of Language Learning, Student Mobility Measures, Master and Ph.D. developments, eLearning developments and case studies". The articles appeared in the Springer Special Issue of Aquaculture international ADVANCES IN TEACHING AND LEARNING IN AQUACULTURE and can be accessed here.

AQUATT and AMC Ltd celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Lindsay Laird Award at the EAS 41st International Conference, held in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Student winners of the award for innovation in aquaculture have so far come from Belgium, Spain, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Germany and Brazil. This year’s winner, Francisco Gardiola from the University of Murcia, Spain, received a iPad Mini, books from Wiley Blackwell, Springer and the 5M publishing company from judge and presenter Professor Johan Verreth (seen below with the winner at the final session of the Conference.

The winning poster was entitled “Generation of a brain-derived cell line from Fundulus hereoclitus and its use for antiviral immunity studies".

More information on the award and on Lindsay Laird herself can be found at, and on wikipedia. There is also an interesting article in 5M's  online publication the fish site.


AMC Ltd Chair Ms.Eleftheriou represented the ESCO AGRI Reference Group at this meeting held to show how ESCO will be used to build a connected European Labour market

ESCO’s multilingual classification of European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations will act as a digital facilitator through its linked open data portal. This will undoubtedly help to improve European e-services attempting to match people with the jobs that are available in the European labour market.

There are many more aspects of this ambitious Horizon 2010 Initiative, not least that the information exists in 26 EU languages. You can find out more by viewing the presentations here or by visiting the new ESCO portal at

AMC Ltd Chair, Ms.Eleftheriou, attended the 1st meeting of the Blue Skills Expert Group on 1st June in Brussels. This group of 40 experts has been set up by DG MARE to identify skills needs (both sector-specific and cross-sectoral skills) in the maritime sector, which includes aquaculture. Its remit also covers innovative programmes in ocean literacy, the development of internship and mobility programmes, and the development of a maritime entrepreneurship scheme for students.

A key document in this process was published in February 2017, Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills (Maritime Technologies).Responding to skills mismatches at sectoral level. Download here


Dr Fitzgerald gave a brief outline of AMC’s history, before he launched the new-look E-Aqualex multilingual learning materials. 

Dr. Fitzgerald’s presentation, entitled Bridging the Gaps: Two Decades of Digital Multilingual Tools from AQUALEX Multimedia Consortium in the Aquatic Sciences can be viewed here.

Mrs Eleftheriou’s presentation showed how ground-breaking previous work carried out by AMC Ltd and AQUATT on skills, competences and knowledge in the aquatic sciences sector (in the LEONARDO da VINCI WAVE and VALLA projects) had been used as baseline material in the EU 2020 Programme European Skills/Competences, Qualifications and Occupations (ESCO), in a paper entitled Making an Impact on European and International Employment Governance. Abstract can be viewed here.



AMC Ltd and AQUATT celebrated the 9th anniversary of the Lindsay Laird Award at the EAS 40th Anniversary Conference (Food for Thought ,21-24th September), held in Edinburgh, capital of Scotland, where Lindsay spent most of her professional life as an academic but also working closely with the expanding aquaculture industry on different aspects of salmon production.

There were more than 80 student posters to be judged by Prof. Gavin Burnell, University of Cork, Ireland; Dr Chryssa Doxa, HCMR Crete, Greece; Ms. Margaret Eleftheriou, AQUALEX Multimedia Consortium, Ireland.

CECILIA de SOUSA VALENTE, from Brazil, is the first South American to gain this prestigious award with her interesting study on the comparison of survival rates and transcription profiles of target genes in the Pacific white shrimp kept in biofloc and clear seawater after experimental infection of White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV).

The winner received her prizes, an iPad Mini, books from Wiley Blackwell, Springer Editions and 5M publishing from Dr Bjorn Myrseth, former EAS President.

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