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Project Title

Interdisciplinary Project on Climate change in Tropical Aquaculture (iAQUA)

Project Partners

Denmark and VietNam

Funding Sponsor


Budget (DKK)

8 948 666

Project Coordinator

Associate Professor, PhD Mark Bayley

Local Coordinator

Associate Professor, PhD Nguyen Thanh Phuong

Project Period

5 years: From 1/2013 to 12/2017

Overall Objective

To understand how global warming will affect tropical aquaculture.

Specific Objectives

  • Study how a temperature rise from the current value of 27-32 °C to 32-37 °C will affect physiological performance, food conversion efficiency and growth in air-breathing fish. Particular emphasis will be placed on the role of the cardio-respiratory and digestive systems to address the prevailing hypothesis that compromised oxygen transport capacity determines temperature tolerance of aquatic ectothermic vertebrates.

  • 4 air-breathing fish of importance in tropical aquaculture (pangasius, snakehead, climbing perch and rice eel) with marked differences in structure and function of their gills, air-breathing organs and cardiovascular systems have been selected. By correlating temperature sensitivities, physiological functions and anatomical structures, we will identify physiological bottlenecks and key-adaptations that allow some species to thrive, while others perish, in face of environmental change.Thus providing an essential basis for future decision making in light of climate change.

  • The capacity to continue this research beyond the time frame of the project (PhD's and Facilities) will be established in Can Tho. Further, an International annual PhD course on the physiology of air-breathing fish will be established at Can Tho University employing modern teaching techniques. This course will place emphasis on training young researches from universities in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Bangladesh etc.).


  • Identification of Vietnamese PhD students

  • Identification of Danish PhD student

  • Setting up of the new research capability in laboratories at Can Tho

  • Purchase of new equipment and import to Vietnam

  • Midterm examinations for the enrolled PhD students

  • Final examinations for the enrolled PhD students

  • Establishment of an annual International PhD repeated 4 times

  • Publication of >25 papers in international peer reviewed journals

  • Graduation of >25 Vietnamese MSc theses within project

  • An international workshop on global change in tropical aquaculture

  • >2 national workshops for local farmers and advisors in the aquaculture sector

  • Vietnamese report to the ministry of agriculture and rural development

  • Report on the outcomes of the project will be submitted in English to the Royal Danish Embassy in Hanoi

Expected Outputs

  • The most important output of the project will be the solid new information on the capacity of fresh water cultured tropical fish to tolerate the projected temperature increases. This information will be

  • Made as widely available as possible to the sector players, policy makers and sector advisors.

  • Establishment of controlled fish growing facilities to allow for the testing of the effects of future climates on animals of importance in human nourishment in the region. To continue the line of research started in the project.

  • Completion of 4 Southeast Asian and 1 Danish PhDs focussing on the study of the adaptability of the oxygen transport cascade in air-breathing fish to the conditions imposed by global temperature increases.

  • Completion of 25 Vietnamese and 5 Danish MScs on aspects under the umbrella of the project. Priority will be given to Vietnamese students training for advisory roles in the aquaculture sector. Danish PhD students will be financed from the faculty of Science and Technology, AU.

  • Establishment of an Annual International PhD course on respiratory physiology in air-breathing fish. The aim of the course is to train Southeast Asian PhD students working in association with aquaculture industries in countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Cambodia etc.

  • At least 25 papers in high quality International Peer reviewed journals; >25 presentations at international science or aquaculture conferences. Workshops for local farmers and advisors in the aquaculture sector.

  • An International workshop on global climate change in tropical Aquaculture.

Project website

Under construction

 ASEAN Fisheries Education Network - ASEAN-FEN

In order to strengthen and promote collaboration in education, research, information exchange as well as staff and student exchange in aquaculture and fisheries among ASEAN countries and with other international institutions and organizations for sustainable development of aquaculture and fisheries in the region, nine Universities including Can Tho University (Vietnam), Kasetsart University (Thailand), Nong Lam University (Viet Nam), Prince of Songkla University (Thailand), Rajamangala University of Technology Srivijaya (Thailand), Universitas Airlangga (Indonesia), Universitas Brawijaya (Indonesia), Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (Malaysia), Universiti Sains Malaysia (Malaysia) has jointly established and made the Declaration of the  ASEAN Fisheries Education Network (ASEAN-FEN) on 30 October 2014 during the International Fisheries Symposium – IFS2014, Surabaya, Indonesia. Please visit the website ( for further information about the ASEAN-FEN. As a result, IFS will be one of the important activities of the ASEAN-FEN which will be co-organized by the nine core universities every year.


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