News | Marine@Ugent


Friday, May 24, 2013
Trawl fishing on shrimp and sole results in seabed disturbance and produces high discards of which the majority of animals do not survive. Recently, the European Commission decided to strongly reduce these discards, warranting the need for research on alternative fishing techniques with less environmental impact in terms of seabed disturbance and discards.
Friday, May 24, 2013
The deep sea (> 200 m water depth) is one of the most extensive habitats on Earth. It hosts a large fraction of global biodiversity and encompasses a considerable supply of minerals, and natural food and energy sources. 
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Besides habitat fragmentation, the introduction of invasive species is considered to be one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. Due to increased global trade, habitat degradation and climate change the number of species introductions has increased spectacularly during the last decades.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
On March 10th, a minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) (3.5 m) stranded in Nieuwpoort. This is the fourth reported stranding of a minke whale at the Belgian coast.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The regulatory framework of marine protected areas in the Belgian part of the North Sea have been evaluated by the Maritime Institute and LDR lawyers. They determined whether the existing protection under Belgian jurisdiction was in accordance with international obligations. Recommendations were made. The designation of the site 'Vlakte van de Raan' has been discussed, as well as the tension between fisheries and Marine Protected Areas.    Read more about this in the paper "The conservation of Belgian marine Natura 2000 sites' (Cliquet A., & Schoukens H.)   
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
From 18 January till 18 March 2013, Freija Hauquier, PhD student at the Marine Biology Section of Ghent University, participated in an international research campaign to the Antarctic Peninsula. The overall objective was to gather samples in the Larsen A/B/C area at the eastern side of the Peninsula where large parts of the original ice shelves calved off in the past two decades as a consequence of recent regional warming.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Sandy beaches are the largest coastal ecosystem on earth, covering 70% of all continental margins. As more people interact directly with beaches than with any other type of shoreline worldwide, beaches are of huge social and cultural importance.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
PhD student Lorenz Meire from the Marine Biology Research Group is currently doing field work in Nuuk, Greenland, for his research on the acidification of the ocean. Increased emissions of carbondioxide cause an increased uptake of this carbondioxide by the oceans, resulting in acidification. This is likely to have a strong impact on marine life worldwide.    Research has already shown that Arctic oceans take up large amounts of carbondioxide, as is also the case in Godthåbsfjord in Greenland. This research aims to understand the driving forces of the high carbondioxide... Learn more
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Microplastics have been reported in marine environments worldwide. Accurate assessment of quantity and type is therefore needed. Here, new techniques for extracting microplastics from sediment and invertebrate tissue are proposed.  
Monday, April 29, 2013
Marine debris is an increasing and worldwide problem, which is mainly caused by a growing global plastic production and the continuing improper disposal of waste in our ‘disposable society’. Moreover, plastic is (almost) not degradable, resulting in the accumulation of this debris in our world’s seas and oceans. Of all marine debris, 60 to 80% is estimated to be plastic. This debris is not only aesthetically displeasing, but it also poses a serious threat to marine organisms and even humans.   
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Published paper from Marine@UGent member Stephanie De Vos: A first AFLP-based genetic linkage map for brine shrimp Artemia franciscana and its application in mapping the sex locus.   We report on the construction of sex-specific linkage maps, the identification of sex-linked genetic markers and the genome size estimation for the brine shrimp Artemia franciscana. Artemia is the most commonly used live food in aquaculture activities, specifically for larval growth of more than 85% of the marine species reared. Fifteen putatively homologous linkage groups, including the sex... Learn more
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Upcoming conference organised by Marine@UGent member Marc Van Torre: 3rd International conference on ship manoeuvring in shallow and confined water with non-exclusive focus on ship behaviour in locks; Ghent, 3 – 5 June 2013   The main dimensions of ships tend to increase continuously, while navigation areas and port and waterways infrastructure do not expand at the same rate. As a consequence, the hydrodynamic effects that occur when a ship manoeuvres in shallow or confined water continue to be of great importance. The conference provides an international forum to... Learn more
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Professor Janssen was - out of over 400 candidates - appointed as one of the 11 members of SCHER (EU Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks), for a 3-year term.   He will provide the Commission with independent scientific advice on issues relating to consumer safety, public health and the environment.Following his appointment, Prof. Janssen was then elected by SCHER members to serve as Chair of the Committee.   Read more on our website.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Published paper from Marine@UGent members from the Protistology and Aquatic Ecology group: Metabolomics enables the structure elucidation of a diatom sex pheromone.   The work presented solves a major gap in understanding life cycle regulation in the diatoms, the most successful marine eukaryotic phytoplankton group, responsible for ~20% of global primary production. While sexual reproduction in most phytoplankton is induced by environmental cues, diatoms make a remarkable exception because they have a unique life cycle in which cell size is the primary control of... Learn more
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Published paper from Marine@UGent member Olivier De Clerck: Extensive cryptic species diversity and fine-scale endemism in the marine red alga Portieria in the Philippines   Marine species are generally believed to be widespread because they can disperse on ocean currents without any apparent barriers to dispersal in the sea. This assumption has also led to the belief that in order to save marine species from extinction, only a few biodiversity hotspots have to be conserved. We discovered that this assumption is likely to be fallacious.  
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
This project, 'Large scale experiments on wave energy converter farms to study the near-field effects between the converters and the far-field effects on other users in the coastal area' is coordinated by professor Peter Troch in a consortium of 7 international partners. It is testing a record breaking array of wave energy converters: the largest array worldwide (25 individual Wave Energy Converters or WECs in an array set-up) is under testing in the Danish Hydraulic Institute wave tank.   Wave Energy Converters (WECs) extract energy from ocean waves and have the... Learn more
Friday, March 15, 2013
Marine Art was a unique outreach event and a collaboration between Flanders Marine Institute, the Academy of Fine Arts Ghent and researchers from the Marine@UGent consortium. Twenty-three marine topics, from pollution to building at sea, and ocean acidification served as inspiration for more than 1200 artists from the Academy, aged 6 to 85.   The project comprised of 3 stages:  (1) Art teachers visited the professo, specialised in a topic they were interested in, and were provided with detailed information (2) Professors, research assistants and scientists presented... Learn more