Sustainable Aquaculture

Elective Course | 4 ECTS | Námskeið: CMM 12

Kennari: Peter Krost

Námskeiðslýsing í kennsluskrá

Um námskeiðið

Salmon salmon everywhere!

About every second fish consumed by humans today comes from aquaculture, and in Iceland, fish farms are popping up like mushrooms!

Is this good? Or bad? Or neither?

In the aquaculture course we want to discuss the background, importance, and consequences of this industry. The main focus is on marine aquaculture, but to some extent we will also discuss inland aquaculture. As a marine ecologist I put a particular focus on the environment. We will discuss the various problems (eutrophication, organic loading of the sea floor, oxygen depletion, pathogens, medication, social and animal welfare etc.), as well as potential (partial) solutions, such as extractive and IMTA approaches, recirculation etc. For an understanding of the processes we need to delve into biology, and also to some extent into chemistry. But don’t fear! Its all manageable!

In the course there will be a sufficient room for student commitment, in the form of presentations, discussions, role play. And hopefully we have the chance of an excursion to a fish farm again. I am looking forward to it!


I live and work in Kiel, situated in the northernmost region of Germany at the coast of the Baltic Sea. Being born in Essen, an industrial city in the middle of Germany I moved to Kiel to study biology and particularly marine biology. In 1990 I finished my PHD there, and spent a year as postdoc in Eilat (Israel), studying environmental effects of fish aquaculture. After that I worked as a research assistant at the Kiel Institute for Marine Science (which is called GEOMAR nowadays) and in 1994 I started – together with 3 friends – the company CRM (Coastal Research& Management) which was in  those days one of the first marine biology companies in the country. In the beginning we performed environmental impact assessments (which we still do today), some years later we installed the first seaweed farm in German waters of the Baltic Sea. The Algae are used for the production of a very healthy and bioactive extract that is suitable as an active ingredient in cosmetics. The seaweed farm evolved into a polytrophic farm by the addition of a blue mussel component in the year 2010-2013. 

As the cosmetic sales picked up we started a new company, oceanBASISLTD, which today produces and sells marine extracts, cosmetics and foodstuffs worldwide.

My personal main interest is the development of sustainable forms of aquaculture, because I think that we need to have a better alternative to simply exploiting the marine resources. In Kiel we are trying different forms of extractive aquaculture and combinations leading to IMTA approaches. IMTAis fascinating concept, which needs to be adapted to the specific regional conditions.

Another ambition is to advise and assist start-ups in the field of sustainable marine bioeconomy. Presently – and until 2023 – I am coordinator of a project that will lead to a business accelerator for the aquatic bioeconomy (“AQUATOR”). This project is funded by the german ministry for research, the consortium encompasses partners from academic institutions and private enterprises.

I am teaching the Business Incubator course at the University Center of the Westfjords for a number of years meanwhile. This is a great experience that I enjoy every year again! Intense and personalized teaching and learning in a fascinating academic seclusion.


The course focuses on the interplay between aquaculture and the environment with a focus on principles and concepts related to the ecology of aquaculture. Different aquaculture systems and production methods will be examined. The major theme will be environmental aspects of aquaculture. This includes feed-stuff problems, alternative fish feed ingredients and IMTA approaches (Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture).

On completion of the course, a student:

  • can compare different aquaculture systems, production methods, breeding programs.
  • can recognise common constraints involved in farming fish at different levels.
  • can describe the components and processes of aquaculture systems that interact with the environment.
  • can outline main regulations and typical environmental monitoring schemes.