Tropical Marine Resources

The details
Life Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Sunday 17 January 2021
Friday 26 March 2021
05 May 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MSC C16112 Tropical Marine Biology,
MPHDC16148 Tropical Marine Biology,
MPHDC16184 Tropical Marine Biology,
PHD C16148 Tropical Marine Biology,
PHD C16184 Tropical Marine Biology

Module description

Tropical marine ecosystems provide important resources locally and globally and support the livelihoods of more than ½ billion people around the world. Tropical marine resources are threatened by a number of different factors including global environmental change, overexploitation, pollution and environmental degradation caused by coastal development.

Our planet's population is predicted to rise from 7 billion to 9 billion by the year 2050 with major changes expected for coastal societies and this combined with coastal transmigration may lead to doubling of tropical marine resource exploitation over the next 50 years. Over the same time scale many scientists predict that half of the present coral reefs around the world will be irreversibly damaged or lost. The future of coral reefs and connected systems such as mangrove forests and tropical seagrass beds therefore looks bleak and active integrated management is urgently required. Management strategies need to consider the main factors resulting in ecosystem demise from a multidisciplinary standpoint. However, protecting food security, access to clean water and sustainable economies are key requirements and illustrate the delicate balancing act between the need for development and conservation.

This module focuses on marine resources with an emphasis on fisheries, mariculture, sustainable management, conservation management and biotechnology. Artisanal practises such as seaweed farming and mangrove harvesting will be considered alongside international industries that consider marine ecosystems as a biotechnological 'treasure chest' (e.g. novel compounds and enzymes for pharmaceuticals and industrial processes).

Module aims

This module aims to provide an understanding of the importance of tropical marine systems for providing key resources, with an emphasis on fisheries, mariculture, biotechnology, sustainable management and conservation management.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

1. Discuss the diversity and socio-economic value of tropical marine resources
2. Discuss the environmental, social and economic impacts of tropical marine resources and prospects for more sustainable production and harvesting;
3. Discuss biotechnology industries based around tropical marine resources
4. Discuss biotechnological products stemming from marine resources
5. Explain the status and trends in global marine fisheries, with emphasis on tropical marine environments;
6. Demonstrate an appreciation of the differing roles and agendas of stakeholders associated with local and international marine resource development and an understanding of approaches suited to enhanced planning and management;
7. Show competence in applying an established model and interpreting its results
8. Show competence in retrieving relevant information from diverse sources.

Module information

1: Introduction to tropical marine resources
2: Diversity of marine microbial resources (Bacteria, Archaea, Viruses)
3: Diversity of marine microbial resources (Bacteria, Archaea, Viruses)
4: Diversity of marine resources (Algae, protozoa & invertebrates) I
5: Diversity of marine resources (Algae, protozoa & invertebrates) II
6: Methods for capturing genetic information and cultivating marine
7 & 8: Marine invertebrates and microbes as sources of novel pharmaceuticals I & II
9 & 10: Extremophiles as a resource for marine biotechnology I
11: Marine biofilms, communication between marine organisms
12: Tropical aquaculture
13 & 14: (IT lab) Phylogenetic analysis- theory (lecture) and analysis (practical)
15 & 16: Tropical Marine Fisheries I & II
Workshop: Tropical marine fish
Workshop: (EIA)
17 & 18: The Aquarium trade, curio trade and coral mining & Reef based tourism: sustainable and non-sustainable practices
19 & 20: Tropical Marine Resource Management I & II

Learning and teaching methods

22 hours of lectures & workshops in the Spring Term.



Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
Life Sciences (School of)

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.