The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries has issued a strategy document concerning escape of fish from the aquaculture.

The strategy document introduces the concept of barrier management as a necessary methodology/tool for converging towards the Norwegian Government’s zero vision for fish escape. The reasons for introducing barrier management include [1]:

  • Fish escape statistics indicate that increased complexity in operational procedures and technical solutions results in increased risk for fish escape.
  • Current trends in the industry indicate a severe change in basic assumptions concerning design and operation within the aquaculture.

Regulatory expectations concerning barrier management for the aquaculture are outlined as part of the “Effective safety regulations” (one of five priority areas in the strategy document as shown in Figure 1).


Figure 1 The relation between the five priority areas in the strategy posed by the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries [1]

Barrier management is a methodology that has been used actively in the oil and gas industry for many years. Additional focus was put on the methodology following the Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010. No specific regulatory requirements have been authored by The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries, but it is expected that Section 5 in The Management Regulations from the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) will be used as basis.

The following definitions are used by the PSA [2]:

  • Barrier – Technical, operational and organizational elements which are intended individually or collectively to reduce the possibility for a specific error, hazard or accident to occur, or which limit its harm/disadvantages.
  • Barrier management – Coordinated activities to establish and maintain barriers so that they maintain their function at all times

The process of establishing a barrier management framework is illustrated by a model shown in figure 2. The barrier framework shall be established and revised during planning -, design – and construction phase. The framework shall be implemented, monitored, reviewed and updated during operation to document adequate performance of and control over the barriers.

Figure 2 The process of establishing a barrier management framework [2]

Employees in ORS Consulting (ORS) have experience with fish escape analysis for various aquaculture companies, and has by doing this provided key decision support towards the Authorities in relation to sanctioning of development licenses.

ORS has extensive experience with risk management from the offshore oil – and gas industry, both in Norway and internationally. By utilizing our experience from risk management in the oil/ and gas industry, combined with our direct experience from the aquaculture, ORS has developed methods and good practices for risk analysis and barrier management in the aquaculture.

The methods and practices are based on principles that naturally can be transferred to a the risk regime for the aquaculture. The methods also incorporate demands given by NS9415, meaning that both new risks, introduced by concepts/technology, and already known risk from the aquaculture industry are covered.


[1] The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries, “Nasjonal strategi mot rømming fra akvakultur,” The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries, 2016.
[2] PTIL, “Prinsipper for barrierstyring i Petroleumsvirksomheten,” PTIL, 2013.