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Surf and turf: the science of fishing and farming

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24 May 2023




21:00 (more or less) 

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Goudsbloemstraat 50, Leuven






In order to inform consumers on products sustainability, there are more and more certifications and standards. However, all are not equal. So, how reliable are ecolabels and is what they claim really true? In a similar way, more friendlier instruments to monitor our ecosystems and inform on climate change are developing. It opens new horizons and has an impact on animal welfare as well, such as fish population.

How effective is agricultural certification?

Eva Boonaert

PhD researcher

KU Leuven

Have you ever noticed eco-labels, such as Fairtrade or Organic, when you go to the supermarket? These so-called voluntary sustainability standards are widespread and now cover 8% (!) of global cropland, especially in the production and trade of tropical products such as coffee, cocoa, bananas and palm oil. But have you ever wondered if buying certified products really has an impact? Eva Boonaert (PhD researcher at KU Leuven) will explain what is currently known about the impact of voluntary sustainability standards and share her experiences with standards in the context of Peru.

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You can swim, but you can’t hide: how (e)DNA is used to detect riverine fish!

Charlotte Van Driessche

FWO PhD Fellow

Ghent University and Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)

Have you ever heard of “environmental DNA” (eDNA)? It is DNA that is released by the fish under the form of mucus or scales. While traditionally riverine fish populations are monitored through hazardous methods like electrofishing, a new technique using this eDNA allows to detect the fish without ever having to actually catch them. Charlotte Van Driessche (Ghent University and Research Institute for Nature and Forest) will explain why this is the new hype and how exactly it can be used to improve biomonitoring in various aquatic environments.

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