BIOSCI 727 : Aquaculture


2021 Semester Two (1215) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Current assessment of the national and global status of aquaculture and fisheries, including consideration of future prospects. Examples of algal, invertebrate, and fish aquaculture in New Zealand, and a review of general environmental and biological problems and the role of scientific knowledge in aquaculture management. Coverage of factors contributing to wild fisheries management, including spawning, larval survival, recruitment, principles of stock assessment and fisheries modelling. A sound knowledge of BIOSCI 328 or equivalent is assumed.

Course Overview

The course provides a current assessment of the national and global status of aquaculture and fisheries, including consideration of origins of aquaculture, current challenges, and future prospects. Examples of algal, invertebrate, and fish aquaculture in New Zealand and elsewhere will be examined. In addition, there is a review of general environmental and biological problems faced by aquaculture activities and the role of scientific knowledge in dealing with many of these problems. Of specific focus is the use of genetics in aquaculture, fin fish welfare in production systems, and the evaluation of environmental impacts created by aquaculture. A sound knowledge of BIOSCI 328 - Fisheries and Aquaculture or equivalent is assumed.

This course can contribute to a PGDipSci or MSc or MMarineSt.

Graduates from this course have gone on to careers in research, as well as roles in community organisations, regional and central government, industry and consulting, in a variety of roles including reseachers, technicians, policy analysts, science and technology managers.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of how scientific methodology is used to solve aquaculture problems by being able to apply this approach to preparing a plan for a rigorous environmental assessment of an aquaculture activity. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the structure, political and financial nature of aquaculture and fisheries (global and NZ perspectives) by being able to provide a coherent explanation of the key factors driving the growth of global aquaculture production versus the stagnation of wild fisheries production. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 6)
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the global significance of aquaculture production as well as some of the issues the activity creates by being able to provide a list of the key issues and a matching explanation of their significance. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 6)
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the environmental impacts of aquaculture, and how they are managed in the New Zealand setting, including being able to identify the major categories of environmental impacts created by aquaculture activities, and explain how they vary among different types of aquaculture. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6)
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of decision making processes in New Zealand for managing marine aquaculture activities and be able to prepare and present evidence at a resource consent hearing for an application for an aquaculture activity. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the growing importance of managing genetic resources in commercial aquaculture and be able to explain in writing the fundamental concepts for aquaculture stock improvement, such as selective breeding, inbreeding depression, and selective culling. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 6)
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of how hatchery technology varies for fin fish and shellfish by being able to explain in writing how this hatchery technology has formed the basis for domestication of most aquatic species that now underpins large scale aquaculture production. (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  8. Demonstrate an understanding of the role of fin fish husbandry, nutrition and exercise in maintaining the aquaculture production and welfare of finfish by being able to discuss the key concepts knowledgeably with student peers. (Capability 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6)
  9. Demonstrate an understanding of the global and New Zealand status of aquaculture and be able to recite key facts and figures, such as the global growth in total aquaculture production and the identification of the major producing global regions. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6)
  10. Demonstrate an understanding of the history, current status and future directions of aquaculture in New Zealand by being able to prepare a well-informed strategic outline for advancing the New Zealand aquaculture industry into the future. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 40% Individual Coursework
Coursework 20% Group & Individual Coursework
Final Exam 40% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Final Exam

Key Topics

1. Global Aquaculture Issues
2. New Zealand Aquaculture
3. Hatchery Systems in Aquaculture
4. Genetics in Aquaculture
5. Fin Fish Productivity, Quality and Welfare
6. Aquaculture and the Environment

Special Requirements

One of the two major assignments for this course requires a practical component that is completed at home using everyday items available to all students. Additional equipment is available on a loan basis to students.
A full day field trip is organised for a date of least disruption to class work for students taking the course.  The field trip is not compulsory but is a valuable opportunity for enhancing the learning outcomes from the course.
You may also be asked to attend a public resource consent hearing to improve your understanding of the environmental approval process used for managing aquaculture developments.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point, 700 level course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect around 2 hours of seminars every fortnight, 4 hours of reading and thinking about the course content each week, as well as around 5 hours of work on assignments and course work preparation. In addition, there is an 8 hour (one day field trip) to visit aquaculture facilities.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled seminars to complete some of the assessed components of the course.
Due to the interactive nature of the seminar sessions they are not recorded, but content from the seminar sessions, such as presentations are made available to students via CANVAS. 
The course does not include live online events, such as group discussions or tutorials, unless required as a result of pandemic restrictions.
Attendance on campus is required for the final exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a series of 2 hour seminars spaced throughout the semester, each allowing sufficient time for prior preparation.

A remote version of the course can be made available to students located overseas because of border restrictions, or those with an exemption to study remotely.

Learning Resources

All learning resources will be supplied or will be available through the University of Auckland's online library services.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Other Information

An effort is made to build in some flexibility in the course content to fit around the demands and interests of students taking the course.  For example, coursework components are selected to match personal interests of students, and due dates for class assignments are negotiated with the class to best fit with competing course demands.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

The New Zealand government is operating a series of Alert Levels for managing the Covid-19 pandemic in the community. The following modes of learning delivery will apply for each of the Alert Levels which may be declared:
Level 1: Course will be delivered normally as specified in delivery mode
Level 2: You will not be required to attend course sessions in person. All teaching and assessment will have a remote option. Seminars for the course will also have an on campus in person option.
Level 3 / 4: All teaching activities and assessments will be delivered remotely

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 29/01/2021 09:38 a.m.