Environmental Monitoring

Akvaplan-niva assists aquaculture operators controlling the environmental impacts of their operations.

Our specialists advise operators in finding optimal sites, and in planning the size and the design of aquaculture farms. We give recommendations with regard to discharges to the sea according to local, national and international regulatory regulations and standards. Akvaplan-niva also offers several methods for environmental monitoring which assure sustainable management.

Site Feasibility Studies

We help our clients to find the best sites for fish farms. Our specialists perform a comprehensive assessment of the environmental conditions including shoreline and maritime activities, a review of historical records, and sampling of biological, hydrographic, and meteorology parameters.

Akvaplan-niva uses modelling tools to assess the environmental impacts and carrying capacity associated with fish production. These analyses include assessment of the best placement, recommended size and lay out of the aquaculture farm. We also model the risks related to the transfer of water borne infectious diseases and pollution from industrial activities between adjacent areas.

Seabed Monitoring Surveys

As part of the requirements for fish farm operators in Norway, all marine aquaculture facilities are required to perform environmental monitoring. Akvaplan-niva is accredited to perform these monitoring surveys in accordance with Norwegian Standards. (NS 9410 B and C studies), and report survey results to the Norwegian authorities. B-surveys provide monitoring data to assess the quality of the sea bottom in the vicinity of a farm. C-studies provide a more detailed picture of seafloor impacts in the vicinity of the farm and recipient waters. For international projects we can undertake sediment impact studies based on benthic biodiversity and chemistry.

Environmental Quality Assessments

Our assessments provide operators with the knowledge and advice they need to ensure good standards of environmental quality both near and farther afield from a facility. Our experts rely on their extensive practical knowledge supported by modeling tools that include:

  • FjordEnv which calculates water exchange and carrying capacity for fjords.
  • MOM (Modelling Ongrowing fish farm - Model System), optimizes the setup of the number and size of cages, taking into consideration factors affecting fish welfare and environmental conditions, such as disease transmission and particle transport.
  • Depomod, simulates discharges from fish farm facilities. The model simulates the point load in a facility as a result of the sinking of feed and faeces.
  • Meramod, simulates particulate footprint for seabass and seabream cage farms in the Mediterranean.
  • Tropomod, simulates particulate footprints related to Milkfish and Tilapia cage farms in the tropics.
  • BENOSS, is used to simulate the spread and impact of discharges to sea from pipelines from fish farm facilities.

Akvaplan-niva has used these models in a number of projects both nationally and internationally.

Environmental Impact Assessments

Environmental impact assessments (EIA’s) are necessary when planning highly productive aquaculture activities. Akvaplan-niva performs EIA's for aquaculture operations for both marine and freshwater environments, in accordance with government regulations and accepted procedures.

Akvaplan-niva in Action

Akvaplan-niva provides advice on sustatinable aquaculture practices to fish farm operators world-wide. The picture shows a fish farmer provide feed to milkfish in Bolinao, Phillipines. <span>Image by Guttorm Christensen</span>
The lumpfish is being investigated as a natural alternative to chemicals to remove sea lice from farmed salmon. Lumpish eat the sea lice without damaging the salmon. <span>Image by Lars Olav Sparboe</span>
Juvenile lumpfish are grown for later introduction into salmon pens. Here,  one of Akvaplan-niva's technical experts maintains the lumpfish growing tank. <span>Image by Lars Olav Sparboe</span>
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For More Information

Steinar Dalheim Eriksen

Related Reading

Discharge modelling from hatcheries in Grytåfjorden.

Akvaplan-niva. (2009)

Client: Fjord Forsøksstasjon

Mitigating impact from aquaculture in the Philippines (PHILMINAQ).

Akvaplan-niva (2006)