Research within marine aquaculture has either focused on technology (e.g. farming structures, autonomous systems, harvesting and transport technologies) or biology (e.g. biomass control, feeding process, fish behavior and welfare). Here, we present a computational framework allowing the integrated analysis of these two aspects in a flexible and evolutive way. This framework is called FhSim which was originally developed for the modelling and simulation of fisheries operations and aquaculture structures, but its application domain has been continuously extended through different research projects.
In this paper, we present the basic design principles and functionality of the FhSim framework with the focus on modelling and simulation of marine aquaculture systems. The basic theories and methods used for the modelling of open net cages, closed cages, fish behavior, feeding processes, and ROV operations in net cages are introduced, respectively. It is also shown how the technological and biological aspects of fish farming can be considered in a specialized or integrated analysis. Furthermore, approaches for combining numerical models with monitoring sensor data, techniques for real-time simulation of fish farming operations and the coupling of FhSim with other simulation programs are discussed.