Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

Innovations for Improved Emergency Preparedness in the Norwegian Aquaculture Industry

Cecilie Salomonsen1,a, Trine Thorvaldsen1,b, Ingunn Marie Holmen1,c, Siri Mariane Holen2, Gunnar Martin Lamvik1,d, Silje Forbord1,e and Ørjan Selvik1,f

1SINTEF Ocean AS, Norway.

2NTNU, Faculty of Economics and Management, Norway.


The Norwegian aquaculture industry is a leading producer and exporter of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Open-net pens accessed by boats are the most common production technology. Even though emergency preparedness is important for the safety at these fish farms, few studies have addressed their status and potential for improvements. In case of an incident, public emergency preparedness resources are used according to the following order of prioritization: 1) life and health, 2) non-replaceable natural resources, 3) industry values. Industry values in this context entail the fish, their health and welfare, and preventing fish escapes. Regarding the status of emergency preparedness, interviews showed that fish farmers base their emergency preparedness plans on systematic risk mapping and governmental legislation as well as their own and others' experiences. Since industry values are not a priority for public resources, companies must rely on private resources to protect their biomass and material assets. This paper describes innovations that may increase the efficiency and quality of operative emergency preparedness within the fish farm industry. The "operative emergency preparedness support team" can support the fish farmers in case of an accident, while "algae forecasting" can provide the fish farmers with information about algae blooms that are harmful to the fish. Custom-designed "emergency preparedness vessels" may assist the fish farmers with trained personnel and emergency equipment for different scenarios. "Training" is improved training concepts for emergency drills, using simulator technology.

Keywords: Aquaculture, Fish farming, Emergency preparedness, Innovations, Training.

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