spring 2021
BIO-3512 Early life of marine fish - 10 ECTS

Last changed 11.08.2021

Application deadline

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

Type of course

Master course for biology students and masterstudents in fishery science -  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.

Course overlap

BIO-307 Early life history of fishes 6 stp

Course content

Initially the course gives an introduction to the reproductive patterns and gonad development of fishes, followed by a detailed description of egg and larval development, metamorphosis, larval feeding, behaviour, growth, predation and starvation; including factors affecting these processes. Fish larval ecology, factors determining recruitment and sampling methods are also focused. Examples from the various themes are given from both field and experimental situations. A laboratory course is included and both living and fixed gonads, eggs, larvae and juveniles from selected species are studied.

Objectives of the course

A candidate who has completed his or her qualification should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:

Knowledge about:

  • Key stages in embryo- and larval development of marine fish
  • Different embryo- and larval developmental patterns between fish species
  • Different stages in male and female gonad development
  • Principles of, and the main endocrine factors regulating male and female gonad development 
  • Know how environmental factors such as temperature and photoperiod influence reproductive development, egg quality, embryonic- and larval development
  • How to read, discuss and present scientific data

SkillsThe candidate should be able to:

  • Evaluate and discuss influences of environmental changes of, for example, temperature and prey abundance, on egg and larval survival under aquaculture and natural conditions
  • Propose and discuss key stages of reproductive, embryonic and larval development which are sensitive/robust to environmental influences under aquaculture and natural conditions.  
  • Explain and discuss causes of variable egg- and larval survival and growth in nature and culture
  • Undertake egg/larval sampling and identify the sampled species
  • Write a scientific essay based on broad knowledge of relevant literature
  • Understand the biology and functionality of early life history stages of fish

General competences:

  • Demonstrate broad insight in reproductive strategies and gonad development of marine fish
  • At a scientific level, be able communicate knowledge and discuss influences of environmental factors on embryonic and larval development under aquaculture and natural conditions  
  • Independently be able to give advice about how important environmental factors will influence gonad development, embryonic development and larval survival in fish under aquaculture and natural conditions 
  • On a general level be able to evaluate, extract  and present information about early development in marine fish

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

The course has multiple teaching approaches.


Essay (counts 40 %), 4 hours written examination (counts 60 %). A graded scale of five marks from A to E for pass and F for fail.

Coursework requirements: Laboratory report. All coursework requirements must be approved in order to take the 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-3512