autumn 2020
BIO-3516 The biological basis of fisheries science - 10 ECTS

Last changed 14.01.2021

Application deadline

Concerns only admission to singular courses: Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester. Exchange students and Fulbright students: 1 October for the spring semester and 15 April for the autumn semester.

Type of course

Master course for students at the program "Fiskeri - og havbruksvitenskap" - ressursforvaltning. Also master course for biology students - principally aimed at MSc-students specializing in Marine Ecology and Resource Biology. The course is available as a singular course.  

Admission requirements

Local admission, application code 9371 - - Master`s level singular course. Admission requires a Bachelor`s degree (180 ECTS) or equivalent qualification, with a major in biology of minimum 80 ECTS.  

Obligatory prerequisites

BIO-2506 Introduction to Fish Biology, BIO-2507 Fisheries Biologyor BIO-2505 Fish Biology, BIO-2507 Fisheries Biology

Course overlap

F-231 Biological basis of fisheries 10 stp

Course content

The course is based on themes that show Marine Ecology and Oceanography as an integrated part of Fisheries Science. New and pertinent topics may vary from year to year but basic themes include trophic relationships, population concepts, recruitment processes, distribution and migration, and climatic effects. Special attention is paid to populations in boreal and arctic waters. At the start of the course the student must have basic knowledge in Aquatic Ecology and Fish Biology at the University level. The course is particularly relevant for MSc and PhD students.

Objectives of the course

The course consists of a series of related themes that shows Marine Ecology and Oceanography as an integral part of Fisheries Sciences. Emphasis is on fishes in boreal and Arctic waters. Note: In light of climate change and human activities, the curriculum is updated regularly and themes and extent may vary accordingly from year to year.

Knowledge: From case studies in the scientific literature (original papers, reviews, web-sources), students define, examine and understand concepts such as -  

  • Patterns and processes of biodiversity and biogeography.
  • Trophic structure and relationships. - Life history traits assessed from biological archives such as otoliths and eye lenses.
  • Realised and potential habitats in light of ocean warming and sea-ice loss.

Skills: From this knowledge, students learn to -

  • Critically evaluate, interpret and contextualise scientific studies and affiliated methods.
  • Appraise the history of marine ecology from the classic studies to present day literature.
  • Prepare and present a talk (ca. 15 min) and a written Essay (ca. 15 pp) on a topic relevant for e.g. a MSc-Thesis in Marine Ecology or Fisheries Biology.

General competence: From these skills, students qualify for - 

  • Integrate knowledge from natural and human sciences.
  • Formulate and raise pertinent and critical questions about northern marine ecosystems and their resources in light of climate change and human activities.
  • Contribute competently to the public debate both orally and in written form.

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

Lectures (28 h) and colloquium (8 h). During the course, the student gives a c. 15 min talk on her/his Essay (c. 15 pp). Essays must be submitted at the given closing date. The curriculum mainly consists of primary literature from scientific journals and notes from the lectures.


Oral examination/discussion (60 % of mark) and written Essay (40 % of mark). A graded scale of six marks is usesd, i.e. A to E for pass and F for fail.

Re-sit exam:

There will be a re-sit examination for students that did not pass the previous ordinary examination.


  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: BIO-3516