NATF340 Management of Fish Communities

Credits (ECTS):10

Course responsible:Thrond Oddvar Haugen

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Norsk

Limits of class size:20

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:Structured teaching: 75 hours. The students" own effort - preparation for seminars, writing of a semester assignment, reading for exam etc.: 175 hours.

Teaching and exam period:This course starts in the Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in the Autumn parallel

About this course

The course comprises lectures/seminars, field work and excursions, independent work/groupwork on a semester assignment and guidance of individual students or groups of students. Through this, the students will gain knowledge about: the management of anadromous species (Atlantic salmon, sea trout, sea char), management of stationary fresh-water species, fish-eating fish and the significance of fish-eating as a stock regulating factor, the significance of intra- and inter-specific competition and the utilisation of this by stock manipulation, tool selection and sampling methods for stock analyses, relevant public contribution fields for securing the diversity of, production of and profit from freshwater and coastal fishes (fcf), strategies for better utilisation of fcf, fcf as a basis for trade development, central threats (acidification, environmental poisons, spreading of parasites and diseases, spreading of species, reared fish and escapes, climate changes, overexploitation) and countermeasures for securing species and stocks of fcf, eutrophication and its effects on fish communities and the utilisation of fish resources.

Learning outcome


Students will acquire a deep, professional insight into how fish populations and communities are influenced by both natural biotic and abiotic processes and from this be in position to assess effects from various environmental encroachments and different management regimes. There will be particular emphasis on acqirement of knowledge related to contemporary threats and management challenges.


Students will become capable of planning and conducting field surveys relevant for perfoming quantitative population analyses and providing suggestions of management alternatives for single species, populations, and fish communities. The students will also be able to write scientific reports about fish(eries)-related topics. These aquired skills are relevant for many jobs, whether it being as a consultant for a private company or as a case worker at municipal-, county-, directorate- or departmental level. The skills are also relevant for those who wish to continue with more research-oriented work on freshwater fish and fish management.

General competence

Students will after completion of the course be able to identify causes for changes in fish populations and identify relevant measures to be implemented, or used in management decisions. Students will be able to see connections in the ecosystem and analyze the interaction between ecology/biology, cultivation measures and the exploitation of fish resources in freshwater, including anadromous fish species.

  • The course includes lectures and student seminars, field work and excursions, independent work/group work on the semester assignment. The main part of the course is lectures/seminars on contemporary fish(eries) issues, 3 hours weekly. In addition, field work as part of an excursion is to be conducted. Here, the students will learn how to use various sampling gears for fish surveys, and learn about methods used in various fisheries and ecotoxicological analyses. The excursion lasts for 3 days. Electrofishing in a stream with anadromous salmonides is mandatory. The students should present one article during the course period and be an opponent for another article presentation. One compulsory semester assignment should be written, preferably by two collaborating students. The semester assignment must be submitted approximately one month before the oral examination.
  • The office door is open for student consultancy every day after lunch. Supervision in preparation of semester assignment is given for each group of students.
  • NATF240, ECOL200 and VANN210.
  • Combined assessment:

    Oral exam (25-30 min.) counts 2/3 of the grade. Semester assignment counts 1/3 of the grade. All of the evaluated elements in the course must be passed to pass the course.

    Term paper Grading: Letter grades Oral exam Grading: Letter grades
  • Together, the teacher and the examiner go through the contents of the written syllabus, topic choices for the oral examination and topic choices for semester assignments, and grading of the exams.
  • The first lecture, excursions and participation in minimum 50 % of the remaining lectures/seminars.
  • Part of the course is conducted at relevant location for a field survey. The location will vary from year to year.

    Students that are not able to register for exam in the course can meet at the first lecture. Free seats will be distributed after the first lecture.

  • Lectures: ca. 28 hours. Seminars: ca. 14 hours. Excursion: 3 days. Excursion, electrofishing: 2 hours.
  • Students at the study program M-NF.
  • Special requirements in Science