BIOSCI 727 : Aquaculture


2024 Semester Two (1245) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Current assessment of the national and global status of aquaculture and consideration of future prospects. Examples of aquaculture in New Zealand are examined and a review of general environmental and biological problems and the role of scientific knowledge in aquaculture management. 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 sheries, including consideration of origins of aquaculture, current challenges, and future prospects. Examples of seaweed, invertebrate, and sh 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 scientic knowledge in dealing with many of these problems. Of specic focus is the application of genetic techniques in aquaculture, n sh welfare in production systems, operation of aquaculture hatcheries and the evaluation of environmental impacts created by aquaculture. The course consists of a series of two hour seminar sessions spaced throughout the semester, with each session dealing with a different topic area. A mixture of approaches to learning are used throughout the seminars, including lecture style content delivery, individual discovery and sharing, peer-to-peer discussion and participatory exercises. In addition, the course includes a one day field trip to local aquaculture facilities to gain direct experience of aquaculture science and practice. The course includes a practical component that is undertaken as part of a graded assignment for the course and involves hands-on experience with raising aquatic organisms. 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, aquaculture industry, regional and central government, industry and consulting, in a variety of roles including researchers, technicians, policy analysts, science and technology managers.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: People and Place
Capability 2: Sustainability
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 7: Collaboration
Capability 8: Ethics and Professionalism

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Apply an understanding of how scientific methodology is used to solve aquaculture problems by being able to confidently implement this methodology for preparing a plan to produce a rigorous environmental assessment of an aquaculture activity. (Capability 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8)
  2. Critically analyse the structure, political and financial nature of aquaculture and fisheries (global and NZ perspectives) and demonstrate this capability by being able of providing a coherent explanation to your peers 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. Identify, describe and analyse the global significance of aquaculture production, including some of the issues the activity creates, by being able to provide a list of the key issues and a corresponding explanation of their significance. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  4. Critically evaluate the environmental impacts of aquaculture, and how these impacts are managed in the New Zealand setting. Graduates from this course will have the ability 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, 5 and 8)
  5. You will be able to describe the decision making processes in New Zealand for managing marine aquaculture activities, and be able to effectively prepare and present evidence at a resource consent hearing for an application for an aquaculture activity. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8)
  6. Apply new knowledge of managing genetic resources in commercial aquaculture setting, including being able to explain to industry personnel the key issues relating to aquaculture stock improvement, such as selective breeding, inbreeding depression, and selective culling. (Capability 1, 3, 6 and 7)
  7. Articulate and demonstrate in depth knowledge of how hatchery technology varies for fin fish and shellfish by being able to explain to colleagues how hatchery technology has formed the basis for domestication of most aquatic species that now underpins large scale aquaculture production globally. (Capability 1, 3 and 6)
  8. Critically evaluate the complex issues associated with the welfare of fin fish in aquaculture, including the roles of effective husbandry, nutrition and exercise in maintaining the welfare and aquaculture production of fin fish. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 5 and 8)
  9. Articulate and demonstrate in depth understanding of the global and New Zealand status of aquaculture by being able to readily share key facts and figures, such as the rate of global growth in total aquaculture production and the identification of the major producing global regions. (Capability 2, 3, 4 and 6)
  10. Communicate the history, current status and future directions of aquaculture in New Zealand through the preparation and delivery of a well-informed strategic outline for advancing the New Zealand aquaculture industry into the future. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8)


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

One assignment includes a practical component involving rearing of aquatic animals and reporting on the success or otherwise, as well as relating the observations of the culture of the organisms to their use in global aquaculture industry.


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

Te Kura Mātauranga Koiora

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 (2 sessions)
6. Aquaculture and the Environment (2 sessions)

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 eld 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.

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

Campus Experience - course consists of a series of two hour seminar sessions on the main city campus.

Learning 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.

All learning resources will be supplied in classroom sessions, via Canvas or will be available through the University of Auckland's online library services.

Health & Safety

Offsite visits to working aquaculture and research facilities for the one day field trip involves prior health and safety briefing to manage risks associated with site visits.

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.

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the sta 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 eort is made to build in some exibility in the course content to t 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 t with competing course demands.

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 for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


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 course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

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 students may be asked to submit 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. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 31/10/2023 10:50 a.m.