Aquaculture is the fastest growing food-producing sector in the world; but as the industry continues to expand at a rapid rate, fish welfare is often overlooked. There is a substantial, and growing, body of evidence which shows that fishes are sentient, and we have a moral obligation to consider their welfare; particularly when the numbers of individuals involved is astonishingly large.
Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) is recognised as the leading international farm animal welfare charity. In 2018, the global campaign #RethinkFish was launched in order to raise public awareness around fish sentience and to provide technical resources to companies to guide them in adopting humane rearing and slaughter practises. CIWFs Food Business team engage positively with companies throughout the supply chain to promote tangible improvements to farm animal welfare. We support companies by providing technical and strategic advice (e.g. on the production of animal welfare policies), hosting and facilitating collaborative projects and events, and recognising good practise through our Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards and by publishing case studies. NGOs can also become a valuable partner for researchers by helping them access collaborations and funding opportunities. Moreover, through our close contact with stakeholders, we can help researchers identify key research gaps that industry, consumers, governments and other related groups require in order to implement better welfare policies.
This poster will give an overview of CIWFs recommendations for improving fish welfare in aquaculture for five key fish species and give an overview of the support that we provide to companies. We will also highlight research gaps which are currently hindering the uptake of higher welfare systems. A case study industry example of a high welfare fish farm which has been awarded by CIWFs Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards will also be presented.