Date of Award

Winter 2006

Project Type


Program or Major

Ocean Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

M Robinson Swift


The August 2003 deployment of a second generation mooring system for fish cages at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) open ocean aquaculture site, south of the Isles of Shoals, NH, is described and evaluated. The new system, a submerged four bay grid similar to those used in inshore aquaculture, uses submerged flotation to maintain its depth and tension. The system's depth and line tensions are sensitive to the deployed anchor locations. Anchors that are not positioned correctly can have reduced holding power or result in problem snap loads.

The mooring system deployment process and its resulting geometry was examined through numerical modeling and field measurements using custom instrumentation, revealing the deployed tension and how it is distributed throughout the grid system. Though discrepancies between measured and designed tensions exist, the differences do not compromise the functionality or safety of the system. Suggestions for improved deployment methods result from these findings.