Akvaplan-niva provides expert knowledge and advice on the environment and on aquaculture.
Our mission is to integrate research, decision support and technical innovation to secure economic value and safe environmental operations for businesses, authorities, and other clients worldwide.
Our service portfolio includes environmental monitoring surveys, impact and risk assessments, emergency preparedness, decision support services, Arctic environmental research, aquaculture design and management, R&D on new aquaculture species, and a number of accredited environmental, technical, and analytical services.
Akvaplan AS was founded as a private shareholding research and consultancy company in 1984. In 1990, the Norwegian Institute of Water Research (NIVA), Norway’s premier research institute on water management issues, became a principal shareholder of Akvaplan AS. The company name was subsequently changed to Akvaplan-niva AS. In 2000, NIVA purchased the remaining company shares making Akvaplan-niva AS a wholly owned subsidiary of NIVA. With over 25 years in operation, Akvaplan-niva is today a highly respected leading authority on environmental and aquaculture issues.
During the first years of operation, the company's activities were limited to studies and commissions along the coast. Typically, these were research and advice for municipalities and industry related to sewage discharges, the environmental impacts associated with aquaculture businesses and the development of integrated environmental management plans for fjord systems and the coastal zone. In 1989, Akvaplan AS was awarded its first contract to perform sediment monitoring in the vicinity of offshore installations in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. The company remains a leading provider of accredited sediment monitoring services but today delivers a range of environmental services to a broadly diversified set of clients.
During the 1990'ies the research activities within Akvaplan-niva were increasing, with competitive research grants from the Norwegian Research Council and European Union. Today Akvaplan-niva operates a highly successful multi-disciplinary basic and applied research program on Arctic environmental issues that is designed to complement our advisory services. Research is performed for a large variety of clients, including the Norwegian Research Council, the European Union, the European Science Foundation, the Nordic Council of Ministers, and private companies.
In 2002, Akvaplan-niva helped create the International ARCTOS Research Network (www.arctosresearch.net). With over 40 member institutes, ARCTOS is a world-wide network of research, training, education, and infrastructure for exploration, leading to improved understanding of Arctic marine ecosystems.
In 2006, Akvaplan-niva launched the Arctic Frontiers Conference Series which attracts 1000 experts from science, policy, and business to Tromsø each year. Akvaplan-niva developed the conference program in cooperation with several partners, and serves as the secretariat for this combined policy-science Conference Series aimed at facilitating open and independent dialogue, building partnerships, and contributing to discussions on pan-arctic political strategies for sustainable development in the Arctic.
Our environment team excels at translating research and technical innovations into practical and cost-effective solutions for our clients.
Akvaplan-niva’s first aquaculture activities focused on serving the rapidly expanding fish farming business focusing on salmon in the Norwegian coastal zone. The industry needed science based advice for a number of practical, technical and biological challenges. There was a need to develop methods and skills for handling the breeding stock, hatcheries for fry and smolt, and production sites for adult fish in the sea. Due to hands-on management experience, Akvaplan-niva was also deeply involved in research projects for the development of land-based fish farms both in Norway and abroad. The company was selected to design one of Norway’s largest land-based fish farms for salmon in 1987. In later years the company expanded into research and test facilities for commercial production of cod, halibut and wolfish in Norway, and sea bass and sea bream in Mediterranean countries. The company has also been central in the development of safe environmental practices for fish farms and has performed close to 1000 environmental surveys and technical inspections and certification commissions in Norway since 1987.
Research has led to significant improvements in our aquaculture services over the years. In 1999, Akvaplan became coordinator of our first European Union project, focused on aquaculture practices in the Mediterranean. Since then, our portfolio of European Union and national aquaculture research projects has steadily grown and diversified.
Our aquaculture team combines R&D and hands-on experience to achieve improvements in sustainable aquaculture for society and the environment.