To main content



Norway is the leading producer of Atlantic salmon worldwide. The development of the salmon fish farming industry has been profitable, but not free of safety challenges for fish, workers and the environment. The reputation of the industry is challenged by salmon escape incidents from net pens and the diseases they might carry are a threat to the wild salmon stocks.
Further growth of the produced biomass in Norwegian fish farming is at present coupled to the combat of a parasite called the "salmon louse", through the so-called "traffic light system" introduced by the Norwegian government in 2017. Based on reports from each fish farm, the authorities monitor average louse levels in 13 geographical production regions for salmon and trout farming. Each year the Fisheries Directorate decides if growth in production will be allowed or not. Hence, development of management systems and technology for delousing when the levels are too high are prioritized by the companies. Preventing fish escapes is also paramount at the fish farms, and workers may challenge their own safety to prevent escapes. Since regulatory requirements instruct companies to manage lice levels and to implement measures to reduce the risk of fish escapes, the workers and operational managers might experience conflicting objectives from the point of view of their own health and safety.
The regulatory requirements for risk management in the Norwegian fish farming industry are supervised by five authorities. Risk assessments cover several risk dimensions, including fish health and welfare, fish escape prevention, reliability and safety of technical structures and vessels, external environment, food safety and OHS. It is required that they involve the workers at the fish farms and vessels in the hazard identification and risk analysis. Companies also aim to satisfy sustainability requirements and certification according to ASC, Global G.A.P and other international standards to ensure market access. Each national regulatory authority or a third-party will conduct audits to check that the fish farmer's management systems, risk assessments and operational practices comply with the part of the requirements for which they are responsible. However, in order for the fish farmers to optimize and rationalize their safety work, studies suggest that they should treat the different risk dimensions in a holistic manner. This presentation will give examples of how formal requirements are handled today and provide suggestions for improved practice at both regulatory and operational levels.


Academic lecture


  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 237790




  • SINTEF Ocean / Fisheries and New Biomarine Industry
  • SINTEF Ocean / Aquaculture

Presented at

WAS North America & Aquaculture Canada 2022


St. John’s Convention Centre, St. John’s, NL, Canada


15.08.2022 - 18.08.2022


Aquaculture Association of Canada (AAC), World Aquaculture Society (WAS) and the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA)



View this publication at Cristin