One of the possibilities to expand sea-based fish farming is to move the aquaculture installations away from the conflicts of the coastal zone, and into more open ocean locations. However, open ocean aquaculture puts other demands on the structures than aquaculture in sheltered locations, and in this context it is necessary to understand the behaviour of the aquaculture structures as they are exposed to large sea-loads from waves and current. Flexible netting is a main part of most sea-based aquaculture structures, and in this paper the interaction between waves and netting is studied. Experiments were conducted at the narrow wave flume facility at the University of Oslo, Norway, where several different regular wave cases were run through netting with different solidity. The wave energy was measured after the wave had passed through the net and compared with the energy of an undisturbed wave to assess the wave damping properties of the net. The vertical and horizontal forces were also measured. The findings show that the damping effects of the netting are not necessarily correlated with the wave forces, indicated complex nonlinear processes contributing to the fluid-net interaction. The amount of nonlinear energy in the wave and force waveforms is also investigated, and it is shown that the nonlinear energy in the incoming wave results in an even higher level of nonlinear components in the forces experienced by the net.

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