TMR4141 - Aquaculture Structures


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment
Grade: Letters

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Oral examination 50/100 20 minutes E
Work 50/100 1 semesters

Course content

Aquaculture structures are used in industrialized fed (e.g. salmon) and non-fed (e.g. seaweed and mussels) aquaculture. Such structures are significantly different from most other floating ocean structures. They are designed for the purpose of farming one or several species, making the requirement for species welfare and growth the main design criteria. Aquaculture structures have usually a high degree of flexibility and significant hydroelastic behavior, and the use of nets and ropes as large parts of the structure is common. They are mainly positioned in the coastal zone where wave and current exposure are different from the open ocean.


This course aims to give the students an understanding of the behavior of floating aquaculture structures, mainly from a hydrodynamic and structural mechanics perspective. The course will also have a focus on the biological premises necessary for an aquaculture structure to be sustainable.


The course is divided into four parts:

Part 1. Biological premises, rules and regulations

Part 2. Aquaculture sites: Description of waves and current

Part 3. Aquaculture structures: Structural and hydrodynamic characteristics.

Part 4. Aquaculture operations: Operations, farming intelligence and HSE

Learning outcome

The main learning outcome will be an understanding of the behavior of floating aquaculture structures in waves and current, including the necessary biological premises for the design and operations of the structures. This understanding should make the students capable of critical evaluate and assess the design, management, deployment and operations of these structures.


Specific learning outcome:


After completing Part 1.Biological premises, rules and regulations the students should be able to:

  • Explain and discuss the motivation for aquaculture as a method for food production.
  • Discuss the Norwegian aquaculture industry seen in a global aquaculture perspective.
  • Give an overview of the contemporary problems and challenges of the Norwegian aquaculture industry.
  • Give an overview of the main regulations and standards regarding aquaculture structures used in Norway.
  • Explain which parameters are used to measure/describe the cage environment.
  • Explain how the cage environment effects the fish welfare.
  • Discuss how the site, the structure and the operations affect the cage environment and the fish welfare.
  • Explain the main biological criteria in non-fed aquaculture.


After completing Part 2. Aquaculture sites the students should be able to:

  • Give an overview of how the Norwegian aquaculture sites are distributed along the coastline of Norway, including site capacity, ownership and wave exposure.
  • Explain and discuss how the Norwegian aquaculture industry is conducting site assessment.
  • Explain important parameters used to assess the quality of a site.
  • Use the fetch method to estimate wind wave exposure at a site.
  • Describe the different components in ocean and coastal current and explain their driving forces.
  • Perform a harmonic analysis of a current measurement.
  • Explain the difference between the tidal component and the residual component in a current.


After completing Part 3. Aquaculture structures the students should be able to:

  • Give an overall description of the dynamic behavior of net based aquaculture structures.
  • Estimate drag forces on a cage in uniform current and critically assess the accuracy of the estimate.
  • Discuss how design choices (geometry, solidity, weights) affects the cage deformation and drag force in uniform current.
  • Explain how biofouling affects the behavior of individual cages and whole farms.
  • Describe the differences between a net based cage and a closed or semi closed cage.
  • Explain the influence of sloshing in a closed cage.
  • Discuss the seaworthiness of closed cages relative to net based cages.
  • Describe the life cycle of a net cage and explain what affects the strength of a flexible net structure.
  • Describe the different mooring setups and their properties used for aquaculture structures.
  • Calculate the mooring characteristics of a catenary mooring system with multiple lines.
  • Give an overview of relevant numerical tools for simulation of aquaculture structures and explain the models they are based on. 


After completing Part 4. Aquaculture operations the students should be able to:

  • Describe the most important operations performed at a fish farm.
  • Describe feeding methods and strategies.
  • Explain and discuss what is meant by farming intelligence and precision fish farming.

Give an overview of the occupational risks and hazards employees in the aquaculture industry is exposed to.

Learning methods and activities

The course includes class lectures, exercises, laboratory work and project work.

Compulsory assignments

  • Exercises

Further on evaluation

Portfolio assessment is the basis for the grade in the course. The portfolio includes an oral exam (50%) and exercises (50%). The results for the parts are given in %-scores, while the entire portfolio is assigned a letter grade. For a re-take of an examination, all assessments during the course must be re-taken.

Specific conditions

Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Required previous knowledge

TMR4105 Marine Technology - Elementary Course, TMR4167 Marine Technology - Structures, TMR4247 Marine Technology - Hydrodynamics, TMR4182 Marine Dynamics or equivalent.

Course materials

Scientific papers, reports and various lecture notes.

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2022

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Marine System Design
  • Water Engineering in Fish Farming
  • Marine Structures
  • Marine Technology
  • Marine Hydrodynamics
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Marine Technology


Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Spring ORD Oral examination 50/100 E 2022-05-30 09:00
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Work 50/100
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

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