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Aquaculture Researchers Gather in Brussels for AQUAEXCEL Meeting

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BELGIUM - Many of Europes leading aquaculture researchers gathered in Brussels from the 9 - 11 April for the second annual meeting of the AQUAEXCEL (Aquaculture Infrastructures for Excellence in European Fish Research) project. Launched in March 2011, AQUAEXCEL aims to integrate key aquaculture research infrastructures across Europe in order to promote their coordinated use and development.

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The project’s focus is on further improving the efficiency of aquaculture production and the many activities to support this. The meeting, which was attended by EC representatives, provided the project's partners with the opportunity to analyse the achievements and results of AQUAEXCEL to date, which include: conducting a comprehensive mapping of aquaculture research infrastructure capacity across Europe; developing and sharing unique methodologies; and facilitating transnational access to aquaculture research facilities throughout Europe.

Marc Vandeputte is the coordinator of AQUAEXCEL: "This meeting presents us with a platform to discuss and analyse the work achieved so far. It's important that we take this opportunity to assess the level of progress we have made. It also affords us the opportunity to identify how we can improve as we continue to deliver on our targets for the remainder of the project."

The project has published the first in a series of booklets aimed at a general public audience, which will outline AQUAEXCEL's key achievements. The first booklet, AQUAEXCEL Key Achievements 2011 - 2013, is available in hard copy format and is downloadable from

"As consumers become more concerned about where their food comes from, the European aquaculture sector faces complex challenges. AQUAEXCEL is actively working to address these challenges through our transnational access activities, which enable scientists and researchers to freely access aquaculture research not available in their own countries; through our networking activities, which foster a culture of cooperation between AQUAEXCEL and other scientific communities; and through our joint research activities, which aim to improve the quality and quantity of services provided by aquaculture research infrastructures," explained Marc Vandeputte.