Methodology for hazard identification in aquaculture operations (MHIAO)
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionSafety Science. 2019, 121 430-450. 10.1016/j.ssci.2019.09.021
Norwegian fish farms are expanding into more exposed sites due to a lack of sheltered coastal locations and growing negative ecological consequences close to land. The severe wave and current conditions, irregular and often high winds, sheer remoteness, and limited weather window amplify the hazards during aquaculture operations. This paper presents a methodology for identifying hazards in aquaculture operations that take into account risks to personnel, material assets, the environment, fish welfare and food safety. The methodology considers the marine fish farm, its support service systems, external agents impacts, potential environmental disturbance and the likelihood of hazard interactions, and fish in the cage. The methodology has been used to analyse a net-cleaning operation, and the results show that it provides a good overview of hazards in a specific operation. The operator can have a better understanding of the nature of the operation to be better prepared for what can go wrong. The paper concludes that the risk assessment framework for aquaculture operation needs to be holistic to take into account multiple dimensions of risk, and the proposed methodology serves a good basis to develop the framework further. The paper also brings up the necessity to investigate further the definition of major accident and major accident hazards in aquaculture, especially for exposed fish farms that are exposed to different hazards comparing to the coastal fish farms today.