DTU Aqua – National Institute of Aquatic Resources – is an institute at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). DTU Aqua was previously known as DIFRES - Danish Institute for Fisheries Research.
DTU Aqua’s mission is to conduct research, provide advice, educate at university level and contribute to innovation in sustainable exploitation and management of aquatic resources. We investigate the biology and population ecology of aquatic organisms, aquatic physics and chemical processes, ecosystem structure and dynamics, taking account of all relevant natural and anthropogenic drivers.
The vision of DTU Aqua is to enable ecologically and economically sustainable exploitation of aquatic resources applying an integrated ecosystem approach which utilizes synergies in natural and technical science disciplines. This approach covers all aquatic ecosystem components and trophic levels, and natural (e.g. physics and climate) and anthropogenic (e.g. fisheries, pollution, shipping and offshore energy) drivers of change, and integrates modern technologies.
To realize this vision, our research and education must be of the highest international standard and innovative, our advisory services must be relevant and practical, and our communication with users and stakeholders must be open and comprehensible.
The goal is to be a leading international institute for marine sciences, fisheries and aquaculture, able to address the environmental consequences and interactions of human activities in the aquatic environment and to resolve the long standing conflict between aquatic resource exploitation and conservation.
DTU Aqua’s research is divided into the following fields:
- Oceanography and Climate
- Marine Populations and Ecosystem Dynamics
- Coastal Ecology
- Freshwater Fisheries and Ecology
- Shellfish Aquaculture and Fisheries
- Individual Biology
- Population Genetics
- Fisheries Technology
- Observation Technology
- Marine Living Resources
- Fisheries Management
- Ecosystem based Marine Management
DTU Aqua deals with all types of aquatic habitat – from the North Atlantic Ocean and European shelf areas to coastal areas and inner Danish waters, ecosystems in lakes and streams as well as aquaculture. European shelf seas, Danish coastal areas and freshwaters are our main working areas, but we also work on Arctic and sub-Arctic waters, in particular in the North Atlantic surrounding Greenland, and we are involved in research activities in other parts of the world.
The research approach builds upon:
- conducting field and experimental work addressing all temporal and spatial scales using modern technology.
- understanding biological, chemical and physical interactions and processes structuring aquatic ecosystems and their dynamics.
- elaborating models for assessing and predicting the development of fisheries and aquaculture and ecosystems under natural and anthropogenic forcing at both short and long terms.
DTU Aqua’s research often involves collaboration with other DTU departments, research environments at other Danish universities as well as a wide range of sister institutes in the EU and worldwide.
Public sector consultancy and business consultancy
DTU Aqua advises the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries and other public authorities, the commercial fisheries, the aquaculture industry and international commissions.
Public sector consultancy is a key area of activity for the institute. DTU’s contract with the Ministry of Food, Fisheries and Agriculture on research-based public sector consultancy constitutes, together with a number of contracts with other Danish and international authorities, approx. 70 per cent of DTU Aqua’s funding. The agreements cover research, development and monitoring activities, advisory tasks for public authorities and the fisheries industry as well as communication.
DTU Aqua offers, in collaboration with the University of Copenhagen, the MSc programme in Aquatic Science and Technology. The first group of students started the study programme in September 2009.
In addition, DTU Aqua has a PhD school which was set up in 2007 and which currently has about 30 students enrolled.
DTU Aqua also designs courses for various BSc programmes and offers BSc and MSc projects for students at DTU and other universities.
DTU Aqua has 255 employees, of whom a third are scientific staff. The other employees are assistant biologists, laboratory technicians, IT employees, administrative staff, ship’s crew, student assistants etc.
The institute is organised into eight scientific sections which carry out the research, educational and advisory activities. In addition, the institute has a number of scientific and administrative support functions, including the research vessel DANA.
DTU Aqua has employees in Charlottenlund, Silkeborg and Hirtshals as well as on Dana.