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Ichthyology and Fisheries Biology

Code: MA311     Acronym: IBP

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL Applied Biology

Instance: 2018/2019 - 1T (of 17-09-2018 to 02-11-2018)

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Aquatic Production
Course/CS Responsible: First Cycle Degree (BSc) in Aquatic Sciences

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
LCMA 35 Oficial Plan 2018 3 - 5 49 135

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
António Manuel dos Santos Afonso

Teaching - Hours

Theoretical classes: 3,00
Laboratory Practice: 4,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Theoretical classes Totals 1 3,00
António Manuel dos Santos Afonso 3,00
Laboratory Practice Totals 2 8,00
António Manuel dos Santos Afonso 5,14
Vitor Augusto Martins Borges Carvalho 2,85

Teaching language



Ichthyology is a fundamental and propaedeutical discipline of the Aquatic Sciences Course that, on the basis of the basic knowledge of Biology, prepares the students for applied disciplines, as much in the environmental area as technology that they follow, giving the knowledge to them necessary to work in the area of Ichthyology, or to use these knowledge in the accomplishment of other disciplines related with this area of science, namely: To understand the organisms in study in the morpho-functional point of view; to apply the rules to the identification and systematic classification of fish species, making adequate use of the nomenclature and the concepts of taxonomy; to manipulate the equipment of measurement and analysis and to interpret the results; to use of critical form the currently available sources of information; to plan and to execute research works; to apply the methods of numerical analysis in the description of the biological processes and, to analyze the experimental data and to present the results.

Learning outcomes and competences

Students who attended this course were with expertise in the following areas of Ichthyology: Phylogeny and systematic classification; knowledge of the biology of the species most relevant to each group of fish in relation to their distribution, addressing the different stages of development, and also as a fishery resource. Stock management, including the biological sampling in fisheries biology; migratory species and their migrations; biological aspects of aquaculture production and reproduction and chromosomal manipulation techniques used in aquaculture.

Working method



Program - The set of theoretical lessons, is organized in four parts that, leaving of the student from the individual study to the analysis of the populations, in a way that the first teachings will count to a set of knowledge necessary to teach the following. Thus, after an introductory lesson, where the objectives, methods, contents and organization are explained, in the first part, the morpho-functional aspects are studied, specifying them for the case of fish group. In the second part, an evolutionary vision of the fish is given; the rules of classification are reviewed and made their application to the case of the fish species, passing to the ecological aspects and of behavior, followed by the study of their geographic distribution. In the third part, different subjects of the fish biology are discussed, namely: reproduction, eggs and larvae, feeding, age and growth, movement and migration. The life cycles of the several migratory fish species are presented, with particular relevance for that existing in Portuguese waters, including the following families: Petromizonidae, Acipenseridae, Anguillidae, Clupeidae, Salmonidae and Scombridae. In the fourth part, the programe is dedicated to the point of view of the resources, being argued the aspects relative to their exploration, management and/or exploitation. Examples of the exploitation of some fisheries developed in some countries are discussed and some of the most important fisheries of Portugal and the current state of its "stocks" are argued.

Practical part includes: practical and theoretic-practical lessons, seminars, a field work a final project and a work of group. Practical and Theoretic-practical Lessons: the four first lessons become related with the aspects morpho-functional aspects (Anatomy, microscopical morphology, and inflamation); the fifth and sixth lessons, will be about biological sampling for the study of the distribution, abundance and the populations age structure. Field work: Taking attention to the ambiental and socio-económical components, related with this disciplines (fishing, aquacultura and other activities with impact in the aquatic environment and its degradation). In this mission the students make contact with some of these activities, observe the state of the fluvial and estuarine aquatic environment, as well as with the activities developed in them. Water samples and data that can contribute for the knowledge of concrete problems in these environments are taken. Later on, analysis, questions and possible answers will be equated. So that such is possible, it is necessary to carry through a previous lesson (practical) of preparation. After the mission, it will be also necessary to count on a lesson (practical) for the treatment and analysis of the data and to the discussion of the results. Thus, the work field corresponds in the time the three practical lessons. Seminaries: The subjects relative to the use of aquatic natural resources, (fishing and aquaculture), are given under the form of seminaries, being these seminaries presented for specialists in these subjects. Final Project: The final part of the practical course is reserved for the elaboration of a "Project for Applied Research", is elaborated in the practical lessons, in which students are invited to, using the concepts and techniques, to integrate the given knowledge, and applying it to a defined objective of study. Group Work: In the beginning of the discipline, students organized in groups, are charged of, in face of a chosen subject, to make a bibliographical research to know the state of the art on this subject, so that they study the subject to the long one of the semester, in order to make a synthesis and elaborate a monograph. The work has to be presented orally.

Mandatory literature

Almaça, C.; Peixes dos Rios de Portugal, Edições Inapa, S. A, Lisboa, 1996. ISBN: 972-9019-96-7
FAO; European inland water fish (A multilingual catalogue), FAO, 1980a
FAO; Guidelines for sampling fish in inland waters, FAO, 1980b
Moyle, PB and Cech,Jr. JJ; Sishes: An Introduction to Ichthyology, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004. ISBN: 0-13-100847-1

Complementary Bibliography

Bauchot, M. L. and Pras, A.; Guide des Poissons Marins d'Europe, Delachaux et Niestlé, Perret de Neuchâtel, Suiça, 1980
Afonso, A., Alexandrino, P., Almaça, C., Collares-Pereira, M. J., Cortes, R., Cravo, M. T., Fabião, A. D., and Reis, J. P.; Livro Vermelho dos Vertebrados de Portugal - Peixes Dulciaquícolas e Migradores, Secretaria de Estado do Ambiente e Defesa do Consumidor - SNPRCN, Lisboa, 1991
Royce, W. F.; Fishery Development, Academic Press, Inc, 1987. ISBN: 0-12-600955-4
Cailliet, GM; Love, MS and Ebeling, AW; Fishes: A Field and Laboratory Manual on their Structure, Identification and Natural History, Waveland Press, Inc., 1996. ISBN: 0-88133-908-3

Teaching methods and learning activities

Teaching Methods
Blocks of matter with theoretical and practical classes in the laboratory and abroad.

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation with final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Exame 30,00
Participação presencial 10,00
Trabalho escrito 60,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Apresentação/discussão de um trabalho científico 4,00
Elaboração de projeto 20,00
Elaboração de relatório/dissertação/tese 10,00
Estudo autónomo 20,00
Frequência das aulas 49,00
Trabalho de campo 8,00
Trabalho laboratorial 24,00
Total: 135,00

Eligibility for exams

Participation in at least four of the original six practical sessions, with delivery of the reports. Participation in at least two of the three classes of the output field. Assistance to at least one of the seminars and delivery of the monograph before the oral presentation.

Calculation formula of final grade

Final theoretical exam: 30%
Reporting practices and project classes: 10%
Group work (monograph): 60%.

Examinations or Special Assignments

Group work (monograph).

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