The Norwegian salmon aquaculture industry has developed towards using more exposed, high-energy sites to obtain better access to high water quality. High current sites may lead to improved production due to high water quality and rates of exchange and sim ultaneously reduce ecological effects on the sea floor through better waste dispersion. While beneficial, high currents and high waves may challenge both salmon and sea-cage technologies. Deformation of the cage net in high currents may reduce the availab le culture volume, forcing fish into higher densities and thus causing stress. In addition, salmon may have to swim against high currents which may lead to high energy use and exhaustion at extreme levels. Establishing knowledge regarding the limits of sa lmon and performance of technologies in high currents will enable improvements to farms at exposed locations. Knowledge will be developed through three connected work packages (WPs) to improve salmon farming in high-energy sites. WP1 focuses on fish behav ior and physiology and will define current and wave conditions beyond which production efficiency diminishes and the upper operational limits for which fish farming in exposed areas is possible. WP 2 will determine the hydrodynamics inside the cage, throu gh laboratory and field experiments, and acquire knowledge on how current speed and wave height and frequency modify flows in cages and thereby affect fish behavior. WP3 will develop a common model for both fish behaviour and hydrodynamics inside cages. T he model will use a new numerical method, which is currently being developed at SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture. Model validation will be done using results from WPs 1 and 2. We foresee that the results of the project will enable the Norwegian aquacultur e industry to better use high current sites; the results will add value through ensuring acceptable fish welfare standards, improved farm management and operational efficiencies.
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