Today took place the inauguration of the XI edition of the International Master in Marine Farming, a program that has been operating for more than a decade as an official title in the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), and which is taught by the Aquaculture Research Group of the University Institute of Aquaculture and Sustainable Marine Ecosystems (IU-ECOAQUA), with the collaboration of the International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) through the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza ( IAMZ).
The importance of this title, whose director is IU-ECOAQUA researcher Félix Acosta, head of the ULPGC, lies in the fact that offers the student the possibility to choose between different professional areas within aquaculture: research, government administration, farm management or the development of specialized tasks in different departments of pharmacological companies, feed companies, or aquariums, among other lines.
In it they have inscribed a twenty students of six different nationalities (Spain, Albania, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt); who will receive training from teachers of different origins to learn about the international market. This has been the reason why, for the first time at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, thanks to a public-private collaboration, the conducting PCR tests on participating students and teachers, what They will follow the online mode until they know the result Of the tests.
The director of the ECOAQUA University Institute of the ULPGC, Marisol Izquierdo, the administrator of the Aquaculture and Fisheries Area of the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza, Bernardo, were present at the opening of the master, which was held digitally through the Teams platform. Basurco, the dean of the Faculty of Marine Sciences, María Esther Torres, Ricardo Haroun, deputy director of the IU-ECOAQUA, and the director of the Aquaculture Research Group of the IU-ECOAQUA, Juan Manuel Afonso.
During the development of the event, a small tribute to the career of Carmen María Hernández Cruz took place, which ends during this course her work as a teacher at the ULPGC, especially associated with the teaching of this university master’s degree. The event was attended by former students and other professors of this postgraduate degree, which was the first to develop this specialty in Spain.
That of the ULPGC is still the only international university master’s degree in aquatic species cultivation offered in our country and one of the few in the world that is taught mostly in Spanish. Its objectives have been successfully achieved in previous editions, as evidenced by the fact that 32% of its former students are working in companies, 15% are university professors from 5 different countries and 54% are dedicated to research professionally or with scholarships from different research centers.
Aquaculture development in Spain
Aquaculture in our country, and on our islands, was a mainly traditional and family activity in the seventies that has been transformed in the last 20 years into a new sector, highly industrialized and rapidly expanding, which demands the professionalization of its employees at various levels. This development has placed Spain at the head of aquaculture production in Europe (currently occupying third place) and in the world, where it is among the top 15 producing countries.
In order to respond to this social demand for specialization, vocational training courses, orientations to Aquaculture in university degrees in Marine Sciences and Veterinary Medicine and a training course are taught at the ULPGC and in collaboration with other centers of the Ministry of Education of the Canary Islands Government doctoral program, which are completed with the training of specialists for the business sector in this International Master’s Degree in Marine Farming.
The degree offers an international program on the principles of aquaculture, the cultivation techniques of the most representative species, and the different areas of study that support this activity: nutrition, pathology, engineering, genetics and economics, combining the efforts of three institutions organizers with extensive experience in this field. So far, previous editions of the master have brought together students from 13 countries and teachers from 19 different countries.
The first part of these postgraduate studies constitutes the teaching part of the program and will run until June 2021 at the facilities of the ULPGC’s Marine Technology and Scientific Park Foundation. At the end of the first part of the master’s degree, participants who have passed the established knowledge control tests, totaling 60 ECTS, will receive the Postgraduate Specialization Diploma awarded by CIHEAM.
The second part (60 ECTS) will be for the completion of the master’s thesis (final degree project), as an initiation to applied research in aquaculture, and will run from June 2021 to May 2022, for further defense public, in any of the collaborating institutions or companies to which the tutor assigned to the student belongs.