New FAO Report addresses welfare of fish in aquaculture
Although the topic can be regarded as controversial, due in particular to the lack of available knowledge, there is nevertheless an urgent need for fish farmers, authorities and scientists to develop criteria, approaches and practices to monitor and safeguard the welfare of cultured fish. The objective of this document is to provide the opinion of EIFAAC Member institutions– as the reference body in the field of inland fisheries and aquaculture – on how, given the current state of scientific knowledge, fish welfare issues can be integrated into best practice guidelines for fish culture.This report deals with the welfare of farmed finfish and neither addresses capture fisheries, be they commercial or recreational, nor welfare issues related to the culture of crustaceans and molluscs. The report focuses on the welfare issues of on-growing fish while giving little to no attention to larvae/fry and broodstock. Likewise, the report focuses primarily on the culture conditions for farming of fish and gives little attention to welfare aspects related to transport and slaughter. Finally, emphasis is given to the culture of freshwater fish, but marine species are included where appropriate. It is understood that the principal welfare issues are comparable for freshwater and marine fish culture.