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Product title :

Defining, assessing and promoting the welfare of farmed fish

Author(s) : F.A. Huntingford & S. Kadri

Summary :

As currently practised, the culture of fish for food potentially raises concerns about the welfare of farmed fish, and this is a topic that has received considerable attention. As vertebrates, fish share a number of features with the birds and mammals that are more commonly farmed, so many welfare principles derived from consideration of these groups may also be applied to fish. However, fish have a long, separate evolutionary history and are also adapted to a very different, aquatic environment. For these reasons, they have a number of special features that are relevant to how welfare is defined, assessed and promoted and these are discussed. The various methods that are available to researchers for identifying and assessing good and bad welfare in fish are considered, including assessment of physical health and physiological, behavioural and genomic status. The subset of practical welfare indicators that can be used on working farms is also reviewed. Various aspects of intensive aquaculture that can potentially compromise fish welfare are outlined, as are some strategies available for mitigating such adverse effects. Finally, the paper ends by looking briefly to the future, identifying likely changes in aquaculture practices and how these might affect the welfare of farmed fish.

Keywords
Aquaculture – Behaviour – Feelings – Function – Health – Naturalness – Stress physiology – Welfare.

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