Dr Roger Herbert, Dr Alice Hall, Dave Parham & Prof Rick Stafford
Department of Life & Environmental Sciences, Department of Archaeology, Anthropology and Forensic Science.
Marine scientists in the Faculty of Science & Technology have been awarded a multidisciplinary four year (2017-21) EU Interreg project to design Artificial Reefs optimised for Atlantic waters. The main objective is to deploy and monitor artificial reef blocks that have been designed and fabricated using innovative 3D printing technology and sustainable, low-impact bio-receptive materials . Artificial Reefs (AR) in Europe have not been optimised for the Atlantic where they have potential application to mitigate for the loss of natural reef habitats and to enhance food production, coastal infrastructure and recreational amenity. 3D Printing technology offers considerable scope to increase the complexity of textures and voids and to create structures that could be replicated in large quantity.
The project is led by the University of Cantabria Department of Civil Engineering (Santander, Spain) who specialise in 3D Printing. The other main partners include Bournemouth University (Faculty of Science & Technology), CIIMAR (Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, University of Porto, Portugal), IPMA (Portuguese Institute of Sea and Atmosphere), ESITC Caen Institute for Civil Engineering and Construction (Caen, France).
BU expertise includes the survey and monitoring of biological communities on natural and artificial reefs and will be involved in supporting data analysis and mapping activities, small-scale experimental deployments of different materials and will co-ordinate the design, fabrication and deployment of larger reef blocks across the transnational partnership. BU will also develop protocols to monitor the reef blocks and the collection and identification of biota. This will involve regular surveys including the use of SCUBA and drop-down cameras, data analysis and the presentation and dissemination of results through publications, organising workshops and meetings.
Research emerging from the Centre for Conservation Ecology and Environmental Sciences at Bournemouth University (BU) is rated the best in the world for the study of fish biology.
Head of the Centre, ProfessorRudy Gozlan, said: “Fish are carried by a vascular network of rivers and are the blood of millions of people that rely on healthy inland fisheries for food, business and sport fishing. We are delighted that our research contributes to that knowledge and comes in support of human communities all around the world.”
The statistic is from the bibliographic database ‘Scopus’, which calculates institutional strengths, based on article clusters.
Institutions are ranked according to three measures:
Publication leadership, calculated through the proportion of articles from BU in the fish biology cluster
Reference leadership, calculated through the proportion of citations in the fish biology cluster that cite BU articles
State-of-the-art leadership, outlining how recent BU’s fish biology references are.
The accolade comes as BU researchers enter discussions with the Environment Agency regarding the testing of wild fish populations for the deadly parasite Sphaerothecum destruens.
More commonly known as the Rosette Agent, the parasite killed 90% of UK salmon in lab tests and has been blamed for the rapid demise of Leucaspius delineatus, or the sunbleak species, in parts of Europe.
Professor Gozlan said: “Since the first discovery of the Rosette Agent in wild populations five years ago we have carried out a set of tests and all species were highly susceptible to infection. We have carried out further tests in semi-natural conditions and found the same results. We looked at one wild fish population and found the disease present. In California our colleagues did the same in a population of returning salmon and found the parasite in around 40% of the fish. The Environment Agency will not determine the impact of the Rosette Agent unless they start specific health checks.”
More information on the Centre for Conservation Ecology and Environmental Sciences can be found on the centre’s webpages.
The Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI) 2011 Annual International Conference took place at BU in July last year.
The week-long event organised by the FSBI and BU focused on the damage being done to aquatic ecosystems and fish communities, and discussed how scientific evidence could be used to benefit the world’s fisheries.
The conference attracted many esteemed Scientists from a total of 22 countries who presented their research over five days.
Four of the keynote speeches, as well as an overview of the conference, can be seen below.
An overview of the Fish Diversity and Conservation: Current State of Knowledge
Julian Olden (University of Washington) – Invasive Species and Alternative Global Futures for Freshwater Ecosystems
Ya-hui Zhaoyh(Chinese Academy of Science) – Out of Sight Out of Mind: Current Knowledge on Chinese Cave Fish
David Dudgeon – Asian River Fishes in the Anthropecene – Conservation Challenges in an era of Rapid Environmental Change
Steve Railsback – Behaviour in Fish Conservation Models: Getting From “why” to “how”
Paul Skelton – Walking the Tightrope: Trends in African Freshwater Systematic Ichthyology
A joint Bournemouth University(BU) & Environment Agency (EA)study, published in the Public Library of Science journal ‘PLoS One’, has revealed how infections of the tapeworm Bothriocephalus acheilognathi affect juvenile carp Cyprinus carpio in fisheries in England andWales.
Dr Chris Williams from the EA said: “This work provides important evidence about how alien parasites can cause harm to our fish populations. It gives us a better understanding of the risks these parasites pose to fish, the environment and our fisheries.”
The study showed the parasite comprised up to 12 % of an infected carp’s body weight. The tapeworm was always found in the intestine, causing considerable damage. Infected fish were found to be lower in weight, growing more slowly and feeding on less nutritive foods.
Dr Robert Britton, who led the study from BU’s ecology department, said: “It was highly apparent that infected carp suffered multiple pathological and ecological consequences, suggesting fisheries infected with Bothriocephalus will be damaged.”
The fact that carp fisheries and the recreational value of carp fishing are worth millions of pounds to the UK economy means it is vital to prevent infection. Fortunately, the Asian tapeworm is currently subject to strict regulation inEnglandandWalesby the Environment Agency.
Dr Williams continued: “We will use this knowledge to advise our regulation of fish movements and the advice we provide to fishery managers to minimise the spread and impact of these parasites.”
Blending of Biofuels with Fossil Fuels: proposal must focus on the blending of biofuels with fossil fuels and other ways to market biofuels in order to provide the Commission with the considerations and inputs necessary to report under the Renewable Energy Directive. Deadline: 12 August 2011.
Renewable Energy Policy Support: proposals must provide a thorough and regularly updated database of renewable energy measures, with a focus on financial support and market/grid access for each EU member state, as well as ad hoc analysis on specific relevant topics. Closing date: 19 August 2011
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