NATF240 Fish Ecology and Management

Credits (ECTS):10

Course responsible:Thrond Oddvar Haugen

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Norsk

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:Structured teaching: ca. 60 hours. Student self-study - preparation for lectures, seminars and reading for exam: ca. 190 hours.

Teaching and exam period:This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel, .

About this course

The course includes four main topics:

1. General fish biology/ecology: interactions between fish species and the environment

2. Fish sampling for stock assessment analysis: Fishing gears and gear selectivity and methods used in studying age and growth, estimation of survival rates/mortality rates, stock sizes and harvest potentials.

3. Threats and management: environmental changes and their effects on fish are considered: water course regulations, acidification, environmental contaminations, invasive invertebrates and fish, stocking of fish and escapes of farmed fish, genetic changes, and stock changes as a result of escapes farmed fish and stocking of fish.

4. Human dimensions of fisheries management: Topics include participation and recruitment in sportfishing and fishery management; fishing tourism; catch-and-release; conflicts; economic valuation; attitude, norms and behavior to fishing regulations and actions. Understanding attitudes, norms and behavior of different actor groups (landowners, anglers, managers, fishing tourism entrepreneurs) is important to catalyze action, mitigate conflicts, and achieve fishery objectives.

The four parts show how inter-disciplinary knowledge could be used for management of the fish, nature experiences, and business development. E.g. doing management plans, and measuring environmental conditions in the watershed.

After each of the main themes, guided colloquia are held. The students will use and combine the study material that has been reviewed to give reasoned answers on the given assignments. Here, emphasis is also placed on developing a critical sense in the students.

Learning outcome


The student will acquire biological and ecological knowledge of specific species and fish communities, sampling of fish stock data and analysis of such data, and knowledge about different actors¿s role and view on fishery management. The student will acquire knowledge on how to use this background information for stock assessments and alternative management- and measures options.


The students will obtain a scientific basis for working as advisors/consultants in issues connected to the management of fresh-water fish. They will learn how to combine biological and ecological knowledge of specific species and fish communities, sampling of stock data and analysis of these data, and knowledge about different actors¿s role and view on fishery management, and hence be able to design alternative management plans for fish communities. The course also forms the academic basis for taking advanced courses in fish management / freshwater ecology, and human dimensions of natural resources management, and then be able to start with a master's thesis in this subject area. The student should be able to make academic reports for use in local fisheries management

General competence

The student will be confident with actors, concepts and processes pertinent to fish stock assessments and relevance and effects of the most-used management measures and decisions.

  • Mainly lectures and seminars. One week ahead of the seminars, the students are provided a set of exercises/topics that they are to work on before the seminar is held. One seminar is allocated for quantitative fisheries analyses using program R. Ageing of fish will be demonstrated and practiced in the laboratory. One short field excursion focusing on restoration measures will be completed. In addition, students must submit a group assignment that deals with an operating plan for a specified fish management system. A quiz tournament based on learning objectives runs throughout the course.
  • The office door is open for student consultancy every day after lunch.
  • ZOOL100, ECOL100
  • Written exam, 3 hours.

  • Both internal and external examiner will grade the exam.

    The examiner and the teachers discuss the contents and formulations of the examination papers, based on what the students should know from the syllabus. In the same way, the examiner and teacher discuss the emphasis placed on the various subtopics of the course.

  • Group assignment supervised by MSc-students. The assignement constitutes an operating plan for an appointed fisheries management system. The assignment must be passed.
  • Lectures: ca. 40 hours. Seminar: ca. 6 hours. Colloquium: 8 hours. Laboratory: ca. 2 hours. Excursion: ca. 6 hours.
  • Special requirements in Science