Project Manager: Ole Folkedal, Norwegian Marine Research Institute, HI
Partners: HI, NTNU, SINTEF Ocean, SalMar, Cermaq, Marine Harvest, Anteo, Aqualine, AQS, Lerow and DNV GL
Duration: Q2 2015 – Q4 2018

Proper fish farming practice depends on the adaptation of the farming environment to the species’ biological needs, and on not exceeding the adaptive capabilities of the fish themselves. Farming in exposed localities demands knowledge on how and how well the fish adapt to heavy storms and wave activity.

The aim of the P5 project is to put down a marker to ensure farming operations in exposed areas are adapted to the fishes’ adaptive capabilities. This means basing locality selection, production strategy, and constructional and operational adaptations on relevant knowledge of fish behaviour and welfare.

Fish farming in exposed localities involves more powerful currents and waves than in sheltered areas. These factors mean that fish use up more energy in adapting to movement of both the water and the net pens, and in optimising their social behaviour (shoaling).

Additional pressures in the form of disease and stress linked to processes such as delousing and offloading may require new technical and operational solutions. Weather conditions may raise welfare issues linked to interruptions in feeding and supervision, during which autonomous systems, properly suited to the fishes’ adaptive capabilities, may be used.

Knowledge about how and how much fundamental parameters, such as fish size, water environment and disease, influence swimming capacity, metabolism and behaviour are significant for the prediction of opportunities and challenges, and for the interpretation of observations of fish behaviour and welfare in farms in exposed localities. Field observation is particularly demanding in exposed localities, and new tools are needed for the measurement of relevant behavioural parameters such as swimming velocity. In this regard, the tagging of individual fish is an important tool.


  • Tolerance limits and methodology development
  • How much current can salmon tolerate?

Innovation potential:

  • To highlight the need for innovation in design and construction and in operational adaptations to fish tolerance limits.
  • To create a fish welfare-related basis for locality selection in the light of technological design.
  • To develop and verify technological systems for measuring behaviour and physiology in fish (respirometry, tagging, etc.).

Affiliated projects:

  • FUTURE WELFARE (RCN, 2017-2021)
  • FUTURE WELFARE (RCN, 2017-2021)
  • SalmonInsight (RCN, 2018-2022)