Reducing risk in aquaculture -Operational limits in a risk perspective

Postdoc: Xue Yang

Supervisors: Professor Ingrid Bouwer Utne

Duration: Q2 2017 – Q2 2019

The main objective of the project is to develop a methodology to identify operational limits for aquaculture operations from a risk perspective, as an input to support risk-informed operational planning decisions.

Five dimensions of risk need to be considered in a holistic manner during marine operations, which include risk to personnel, risk to fish welfare, risk to environment, risk to material assets and food safety.

In today’s practice, the decisions that are made in aquaculture operations are largely experience-driven. The on-site personnel decide when to start and whether to delay or abort operations mainly based on weather condition and the sea state.

The risk involved in the operations are influenced by several other operation dimensions including condition of the service vessel, condition of the fish farm, working process, working methods, crew, and operating envrionment.

These are usually  implictly considered by the experienced operators, but considering risks in all the proposed dimensions brings challenges concerning transferring knowledge and experience across areas.

In addition, the technical, operational and geographical differences among fish farms raise different hazards and risk contributing factors. Kowlledge of these hazards, risks and risk factors in an explicit manner is essential to make operational decisions to ensure a safe production.


  1. Yang, X., Utne, I.B., Holen, S.M., Holmen, I.M. (2018) Implications from major accident causation theories to activity-related risk analysis – An application in Norwegian Atlantic salmon farming industry, ESREL2018. Trondheim, Norway.
  2. Yang, X., Utne, I.B., Holmen, I.M. (Submitted to Safety Science). MIMACHE: a Methodology for the Identification of Major ACcident hazards and Hazardous Events in Norwegian aquaculture. Submitted to Safety Science.
  3. Holen, S.M., Utne, I.B., Yang, X., Conflicting objectives in a fish farm operation, ESREL2018. Trondheim, Norway.
  4. Yang, X., Utne, I.B., Holmen, I.M. (2018) “Review of hazard identification techniques for autonomous operations in Norwegian aquaculture”. Accepted for Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management PSAM 14 , Los Angeles, USA.
  5. Utne, I.B., Schjølberg, I., Sandøya, S., Yang, X., Holmen, I.M. (2018), Reducing risk in aquaculture through autonomous underwater operations. Accepted to Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management PSAM 14 , Los Angeles, USA.
  6. Holen, S.M., Yang.X, Haugen.S, Utne, I.B. (Submitted to Safety Science) Major accidents in Norwegian fish farming. Submitted to Safety Science
  7. Jin, J.Z., Selvik Ø., Yin, D., Yang, X. Vegard Øgård Aksnes.V.Ø. (2018) Review on typical marine operations in aquaculture and numerical simulation of one example operation scenario, Accepted for ISOPE 2018. Sapporo Japan.