spring 2020

BIO-8014 Aquatic Animal Welfare - 5 ECTS

Last changed: 13.05.2020

The course is provided by

Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics


Tromsø |

Application deadline

Registration deadline for PhD students at UiT - The Arctic University of Norway: February 1.

Application deadline for external PhD students: February 1.

Researchers at UiT - The Arctic University of Norway or external institutions who carry out experiments with aquatic animals should apply for BIO-3503. Deadline: December 1.

Type of course

Theoretical and practical subject.

Admission requirements

To be admitted to this PhD course, the applicant must be a student at a PhD programme. Non-UiT PhD students must upload a document from their university stating that they are registered PhD students. This group of applicants does not have to prove English proficiency and are exempt from semester fee.

PhD students at UiT register for the course through StudentWeb. The registration for spring semester starts in the middle of December.

External PhD students apply for admission through SøknadsWeb. Application code 9305.

Contact Ingjerd Gauslaa Nilsen at the BFE-faculty if you have troubles or questions regarding registration to the course.

Course content

The first part of the course deals with legislations and regulations in animal experimentation and which types of experiments are under the Animal welfare act and the legislations and regulations which apply to the hold of live fish and decapods. The biological part of the course includes lectures on pain perception, stressors and stress responses, health and welfare, anaesthesia/immobilisation, acclimation, environmental needs and tagging methods. The course also encompasses seminars in which the various topics in the lectures, including ethical issues and considerations, are discussed. Seminars also include work with experimental design (including the three R's) of a given research topic, and compilation of an application to the Norwegian animal research authority on the same research topic. Finally the course includes a one day excursion to the research station in Kårvik for practical demonstrations of experiment preparation, fish handling, blood sampling, anesthesia etc.

Recommended prerequisites

BIO-1006 Animal- and plant physiology, BIO-2002 Physiology II (Animal Physiology)

Objectives of the course

The course is mandatory for researchers who carry out experiments with aquatic animals (fish and decapoda) and fulfil the Ministry's requirements for researches, category C.

The course should give the students a sufficient knowledge and background for conducting legal, environmentally safe end ethically acceptable experimental work with live fish and decapods.

Students who has completed the course should:

  • Know about the legislations and regulations in animal experimentation, including the Animal welfare act (Dyrevelferdsloven) and the Aquaculture management regulation (Akvakulturdriftsforskriften).
  • Know the authorities that maintain legislations and regulations, and how to apply to the Norwegian food safety authority (Mattilsynet) for permission to do experiments.
  • Have a sound and respectful attitude to the ethical aspects of working with live animals.
  • Have sufficient knowledge about relevant and important aspects of fish and decapode biology, including pain perception, stressors and stress responses, health and welfare, anaesthesia/immobilisation, acclimation, environmental needs and tagging methods.

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

Obligatory attendance on lectures, seminars and excursion.


3 hours written exam (counts 50%) and a home exam (counts 50%). The home exam is a description of one experiment included in the candidate's PhD study, followed by an assessment of its cost-benefit, if and how the three R's has been regarded, degree of pain and consequential use of anesthetics, need for implementation of humane endpoints etc. Grade: Pass/fail.

Date for examination

Written test 17.04.2020
Take-home assignment hand in date 24.04.2020

The date for the exam can be changed. The final date will be announced in the StudentWeb early in May and early in November.


Course overlap

BIO-3503 Aquatic Animal Welfare 5 stp



Even Jørgensen

Phone: +4777646791
Mobile: 41433694 even.jorgensen@uit.no


PhD students enrolled at UiT register for the course through StudentWeb

Other applicants apply for admission through SøknadsWeb. Choose the application code 9305 and write the course code (BIO-8014) in the remark field. You'll find a manual for SøknadsWeb here.

Remember to upload documentation of your education or your status as a PhD student. Applicants who can document their status as a PhD student are exempt to pay the semester fee.