Student Pages
Postgraduate course

Environmental Impact of Aquaculture

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeBIO208
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Teaching semester


This course has a limited capacity, enrolment is based on application. Application deadline is Thursday in week 2 for the spring semester. Please see this page for more information: https://www.uib.no/en/matnat/53431/admission-courses-limited-capacity

You will receive confirmation of whether you received a spot in Studentweb no later than Tuesday the week after the deadline.

The time of the first lecture/orientation meeting can be found in the schedule on the course website or on the Mitt UiB learning platform.

It is mandatory to attend the first lecture.

Objectives and Content

Aquaculture supplies half of the total aquatic products for human consumption at the global scale. However, the production of aquaculture products has direct and indirect impacts on the environment, and the potential for negative impacts on human health. This course introduces the major sources of aquaculture impacts and their effects on the environment. The course will cover a wide spectrum of environmental issues resulting from expanding global aquaculture. These will include the competition for natural resources and the impact of direct organic pollution. Current issues are reviewed, and the risks and benefits of different systems are evaluated. The course will deal in depth with the impact of intensive aquaculture on wild fish populations, including the transfer of disease and parasites (sealice), the impact of escaped fish, and the threats and benefits of GM fish. Additional topics include habitat destruction, sourcing of feeds, antibiotic use, introduced species, and consumer knowledge.

The course content is based on lectures, selected reading material, and presentations by active researchers in the field. Learning activities include student-led discussions and short investigations. The evaluation of scientific literature and popular media is emphasized to encourage the development of critical thinking and the ability to articulate evidence-based opinions

Learning Outcomes

The course aims to give the students an understanding of the impact of aquaculture on a global scale.

On completion, students

  • will be able to identify and discuss the major biological impacts, including effects on surrounding biota and potential human health impacts
  • will be able to identify and discuss the major physical impacts, including spatial spatial conflicts linked to aquaculture sites
  • will be able to identify and discuss the major sources and effects of chemical and nutrient inputs to the environment
  • will be familiar with selected monitoring and management tools and updated trends in technological solutions
  • will demonstrate critical thinking applied to sources of information about aquaculture impacts by finding relevant sources of information on aquaculture impacts representing different viewpoints
  • Will be able to evaluate quality of information from scientific and general sources
  • Will be able to develop an independent opinion on relevant issue, based on scientific information
  • Will be able to express own opinion in a clear and concise manner, with correct notation of source material

Recommended Previous Knowledge

Basic subjects of Bachelor's in Biology, previous knowledge of aquatic systems and fish biology is an advantage

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Participation in student discussions and activities is compulsory

Forms of Assessment

Evaluation of written assignments (40%) and participation in class exercises (30%) and take-home written examination (30%).

Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade, grade F is a fail.

Type of assessment: Continuous assessment, including a take-home exam.

Course Evaluation

Students will evaluate the course in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the Department. You can find courseevaluations in the Quality Assurance Reports.


Contact Information

Contact the Study Section at the Department of Biological Sciences: studie@bio.uib.no

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Written (take-home) examination

    3 hours
    Assignment handed out
    13.10.2020, 09:00
    Submission deadline
    16.10.2020, 16:00
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam