General Approach to Fish Welfare and to the Concept of Sentience in Fish
A scientific opinion by the Animal Health and Welfare Panel on the general approach to fish welfare and the concept of sentience in fish finds that, based on their neurobiology and special sense organs, fish likely have capacity to experience pain, fear, and stress.
This opinion concludes that even though fish have not been studied as extensively as other animals, welfare is the same for all animals including mammals, birds, and fish that are used for human food. There is evidence that some fish species have brain structures that are capable of experiencing pain and fear, although additional research is needed to qualify our understanding of them.
Indicators of fish welfare should be “species-specific, validated, reliable, feasible and auditable.”