New Depomod application in action
    Modelling software for the aquaculture industry
    managed by SRSL
  New Depomod application in action

DEPOMOD Modelling Software

NewDEPOMOD and AutoDEPOMOD are models, developed by SAMS, which predict the impact of fish-farm discharges on the seabed in order to optimise the operation of aquaculture sites to match the environmental capacity. 

Fish-farms discharge waste (fish faeces, food waste and chemical treatments) which accumulates on the seabed, causing organic enrichment and changes in the chemistry and biology of the marine environment. The size of marine fish farms is determined to a large extent by the scale and degree of the associated impacts.

DEPOMOD particle tracking modelling software is used by both aquaculture regulators and the industry to manage environmental impacts whilst optimising stocking densities, and providing guidance on the selection of farm sites.

Contact the team

Tel: +44 (0)1631 559470

Email us

NewDEPOMOD (version 1.0) was released by SAMS Research Services Ltd. for purchase in August 2017, replacing AutoDEPOMOD. It is predicted that this software will feature significantly in regulatory modelling. This version of the software presents a number of significant advances from its predecessor, including:

  • >An updated and characterised resuspension process using data from an extensive set of field measurements of erosion, resuspension and transport at farm sites.
  • >New model framework for sediment deposition, which allows the model to include varying bathymetry.
  • >A completely redesigned user interface using new file formats for bathymetry, flow and farm discharges.
  • >Improved predictive abilities at the more exposed sites of the type that the global marine fish farming industry is increasingly looking to develop.
  • >A simple and intuitive user interface that can be used to generate models of farm sites using standard scenarios quickly and easily.
  • >A model that produces conservative estimates of the holding capacity of a proposed site and which can be tuned using data collected once a farm enters production to improve predictions, useful for example when planning expansion of an existing farm.
  • >The capacity to use hydrodynamic flow field data to incorporate more realistic flow patterns in comparison with a reliance upon a single location.

Intent on delivering further value to customers from the already improved user experience offered by NewDEPOMOD (Version 1.0), SRSL's dedicated resources have continued to focus on improving existing capability and adding new functionality. SRSL has released a further updated version of the software, NewDEPOMOD Version 1.1, in April 2018 which included:

  • >Creation of a full User Manual for GUI and CMD version of NewDEPOMOD.
  • >Addition of per cage group feed inputs
  • >Addition of over treatment factor to the Inputs panel.
  • >Improvements to tidal ellipse graph, feed inputs graph and surface deposition map
  • >General operation and functional improvements to benefit the user experience.


With the full release of NewDEPOMOD software, and in response to the requirements of customers in varying sectors, licence terms and conditions have been introduced to address the needs of these different users.

 Three licence types are available for purchase:

  • >Commercial – for use by employees for commercial research.
  • >Academic – for use by employees and accredited students for non-commercial research, or teaching.
  • >Developer – for use by parties that wish to use and further develop, modify, adapt and improve NewDEPOMOD, for example to suit the environmental conditions of a given country or territory.

Prices are available per computer, with reduced prices offered for the purchase of multiple licences within one organisation.

SAMS Research Services Ltd. has the capacity to offer different levels of support for your modelling requirements. Specific arrangements will be formalised on a case by case basis dependent on your needs, but have previously included:

  • >Full modelling project. This includes data preparation (bathymetry, flow, feed input, farm layout and environmental data), model runs (including tuning) and results presentation within a technical report.
  • >Ad-hoc support. This suits individuals who would like to undertake the modelling working primarily by themselves, but with guidance and support provided on occasion. This can be quoted on a per day basis.


Training can be hosted at SAMS. There are two main approaches to training for NewDEPOMOD use; Group/repeat training courses and Bespoke one-to-one courses:

Group/repeat training courses

These tend to be two day training courses including level 1 and level 2 training. In the future it is envisaged that a training calendar will be made available online with regular dates, however in the early stages of software development and use these will be arranged in response to requirement, as dictated by end users.

Level 1: 

  • >Basic software introduction & use
  • >Technical introduction to what the software does
  • >Worked examples including uploading files, running the model and plotting bathymetric data

Level 2:

  • >Detailed technical brief on the model workings
  • >Overview on utilising spatially varying currents functionality
  • >Run through of full worked example

 Bespoke one-to-one training courses

These can be designed to suit the individual and their needs, for example examining specific applications or focussing on specific areas of interest.

AutoDEPOMOD has now been superseded by NewDEPOMOD. It is a global particle-tracking model which simulates dispersion of particulate material from fin fish farm cages, in response to input flow data obtained near to the fish farm. This works in conjunction with particle release, settling and resuspension information. It was developed through research at SAMS with a view to utilisation by the aquaculture industry.

AutoDEPOMOD relies on flow data obtained from a single location across the whole modelled domain, with a flat seabed. It has been widely utilised in Scotland for regulatory monitoring of aquaculture sites since 2005, in order to predict estimated biomass and medicine thresholds which are sustainable. The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) have historically aimed for conservative model configurations in order to minimise the risks to both the local seabed and further afield.

For further information or to request a quote, please call

SAMS Research Services Ltd on +44(0)1631 559 470)

or email depomod@srsl.com