Towards Sustainable Aquaculture In Europe
This report offers from Concensus, a pro-aquaculture group, provides information on efforts to improve the sustainability of European aquaculture. Specifically, it addresses the welfare of farmed fish as producers seek out stocking densities and handling practices that optimize growth and health status while minimizing suffering. Scientific studies have identified indicators of fish welfare which can enable producers to measure the welfare of their farms.
The recommended indicators of farmed fish welfare include:
- Stocking density – Many species of fish live in large shoals in the wild and, consequently, high density on a farm is a problem if water quality deteriorates, if fish are deprived of oxygen, or if they are exposed to disease.
- Free-range aquaculture – Exists in several forms including “ranching” of salmon and lobster, and in “organic” salmon production and shellfish farming.
- Slaughter methods – Recent studies suggest that fish can experience fear and pain. Suggested guidelines stipulate that stunning prior to slaughter should induce immediate and permanent loss of consciousness; where this is not immediate it should be without any avoidable excitement, pain, or suffering.