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The FutureFarm strategic project aim to promote the development of methods and guidelines for robust design of fish farms with open net cages in exposed environments. Development of structural design methods includes new hydrodynamic load models, methods to consider fluid-structure interaction, new structural models and analysis methods for nets.

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Illustration of fish net in fish farm
Illustration: Mats A. Heide

Several new fish farming concepts are currently introduced in Norway, representing possibilities for sustainable growth. Today's methods for structural analysis are not adequate for all future fish farms, including analysis of new types of netting materials at exposed locations. The net cage is a natural focus in this context as it is the main barrier preventing escape of fish. Holes in the net is the major reason for escape of fish, and hydrodynamic loads acting on the net is the main load contributor in dimensioning of other components of the fish farm as the cage collar and the mooring system. In addition, the net cage affects the living conditions for the fish and the working conditions for the fish farmers through deformations and movements of the cage.

The main objective of this strategic work is to promote development of

  • new load models for net cages subjected to current and waves, including fluid-structure interaction
  • structural models and analysis methods for various types of traditional and new netting materials
  • methods and guidelines for safe and reliable structural design and dimensioning of future fish farms, considering high environmental loads, large deformations and operational aspects

Key Factors

Project start