Photo: Line Reeh


DTU Aqua provides scientific advice to both Danish and international authorities on sustainable utilisation of living aquatic resources and the impact of human activities on the aquatic environment. 

Core areas

For many years, DTU Aqua has been providing scientific advice to both Danish and international authorities on sustainable utilisation of living aquatic resources and the impact of human activities on the aquatic environment. 

Advice are primarily supplied within the following core areas: 
  • Evaluation of the development of fish and shellfish stocks
  • Catch opportunities 
  • Fisheries management 
  • The effects of fishery and other human activities on the marine ecosystem and on the fish and shellfish stocks 
  • Restoration of fish and shellfish stocks 
  • Restoration of habitats for fish and shellfish
  • Aquaculture production 

The scientific advice is founded on the Institute’s monitoring of fisheries and fish stocks, and its research into aquatic ecosystems, the dynamics of fisheries and fish stocks, fishery technology and the effects of management measures.

Most of DTU Aqua’s research projects are intended to strengthen the basis for the advice and consultancy that the institute provides for public authorities. Public sector consultancy accounts for two-thirds of the institute’s financial basis.

Contracts with Danish and foreign authorities and organizations

The biggest contract DTU Aqua has on scientific advice is with the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries. This contract comprises monitoring of fisheries and fish and shellfish stocks, advising public authorities, the fishing industry and sector organizations, and research designed to support advisory and monitoring activities. 

Moreover, DTU Aqua has in accordance with the EU Data Collection Framework a comprehensive monitoring and advisory contract with the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries.

A significant part of the biological advice on fisheries management is conducted via the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the European Commission’s Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF). DTU Aqua represents Denmark on the ICES Advisory Council and participates in the ICES Advisory and Science Committees as well as around 80 expert groups.  

Furthermore, DTU Aqua advises international organizations and regional fishery commissions such as the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC), Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (Helsinki Commission, HELCOM), OSPAR Commission and the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO). 

In recent years, DTU Aqua has started to conduct scientific advice in the area of the environment, advising the Danish Ministry of Environment on for example anthropogenic effect of fisheries in relation to the Habitat Directive, the Water Directive and the implementation of the EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

In addition, DTU Aqua has a partnership agreement with the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, which involves advising Greenlandic authorities in selected areas in international advisory and fisheries management bodies.



DTU Aqua coordinated the FP7 project Myfish, and through this participated actively in the operationalization of management aiming at obtaining the maximum sustainable yield in an ecosystem, economic and socially context. The work included the development and advice on optimal yield ranges providing no less than 95 % of the maximum sustainable yield while providing room for policy decisions to encompass economic and social sustainability in multispecies fisheries.  
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In the H2020 project Discardless, DTU Aqua coordinates European efforts to provide the knowledge, tools, technologies and involvement of stakeholders to achieve a gradual elimination of discarding in European waters. These will be integrated into Discard Mitigation Strategies (DMS) providing advice on cost-effective solutions at all stages of the seafood supply chain. 
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EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive

The objective of the EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive is to achieve and maintain a good environmental status in European waters. Fishery is one of the activities that has the greatest impact on the marine environment, and DTU Aqua’s expertise in the area of fish and fishery is assimilated into the work to develop Danish marine strategies. In addition to fish populations and fisheries impacts, DTU Aqua monitors seafloor litter and provides advice on marine litter and ingestion of litter by marine biota. The Ministry of Environment is responsible for the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive in Denmark.

EU Maritime Spatial Planning Directive

The Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) Directive creates a common framework for ecosystem based MSP in European waters by 2021. Initiated in 2016 by the Danish Maritime Authority, MSP development is currently in its infancy in Denmark. DTU Aqua's expertise in relation to marine habitats, environmental impacts of fisheries and world leading capabilities in analyzing fishing fleet dynamics including interactions with other maritime sectors puts DTU Aqua at the forefront in relation to providing the science needed to underpin ecosystem based MSP. 


Anja Gadgård Boye
Director for Public Sector Service
DTU Aqua
+45 93 51 35 57