Fish Welfare / Edition 1

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Fish have the same stress response and powers of nociception as mammals. Their behavioural responses to a variety of situations suggest a considerable ability for higher level neural processing - a level of consciousness equivalent perhaps to that attributed to mammals. Each chapter of this book has been written by specialists in their field. The subject matter is wide ranging and covers in detail concepts of animal welfare in addition to more specific aspects of fish welfare. Philosophical concepts of welfare are discussed along with more practical areas of fish welfare encompassing all husbandry and management activities that have a potential to affect the welfare of the fish in our care. This book is an essential purchase for fish veterinarians, fish farmers, fish biologists and those involved in the aquaculture industry and its regulation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Certainly a vital book for anyone involved with aquaculture practically anywhere in the world." (Ausmarine, April 2009)

"Newcomers to the field will find the book a useful introductory compendium. It provides concise coverage of topics that are central to the field that is becoming increasingly important." (Aquaculture International, August 2008)

"Fish Welfare is a ground-breaking science book that addresses key questions ... It cuts through the myths of and anecdotal evidence and presents us with scientific facts." (Aquatic Trader PBW News Magazine)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405146296
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/28/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward Branson MRCVS, Veterinary Surgeon, RCVS Specialist in Fish Health and Production, Monmouthshire, UK

Edward Branson died suddenly before this book was finished and it is a great sadness to his friends and colleagues that he did not see the completion of a project that was so dear to his heart. Edward was a very active member of the Fish Veterinary Society and it was always his wish that the Society should address all aspects of fish welfare. It was Edward’s ambition that the Society hold a wide-ranging workshop on current issues of Fish Welfare and, during his term of office as President, he saw this wish fulfilled. This book is a direct result of that workshop.

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Table of Contents


Publisher's Acknowledgement.


Introduction (Edward J. Branson and Peter J. Southgate).

Part I General FishWelfare.

Chapter 1 What is Animal Welfare? (Alistair B. Lawrence).


Animal welfare: the long view.

Science applied to animal welfare.



Chapter 2 Welfare and Fish (Felicity A. Huntingford and Sunil Kadri).


What is welfare?

Evolution and fish welfare.

Human activities that potentially compromise fish welfare and why this matters.

How to measure fish welfare.

Strategies for improving the welfare of farmed fish.

The role of veterinarians and biologists in studying and protecting fish welfare.


Chapter 3 The Stress Response in Fish – Mechanisms, Effects and Measurement (Thomas G. Pottinger).


What is the stress response?

The stress response in fish.

Detection and measurement of stress in fish.

Cortisol as an index of stress: measurement of hormone concentrations.

Cortisol as an index of stress: modifying factors.

Ameliorating stress in farmed fish: selective breeding for reduced stress responsiveness.



Chapter 4 Pain and Fear in Fish (Paul J. Ashley and Lynne U. Sneddon).


The question of sentience and consciousness.






Chapter 5 Can Fish Suffer? (Victoria A. Braithwaite and Philip Boulcott).


Basic organisation of the teleost fish brain.

Are teleost brains complex enough to allow fish to suffer?

Do fish alter their behaviour in response to noxious stimuli?

Cognitive capacities in fish – a capacity for long-term suffering?




Chapter 6 Welfare Legislation Applying to Farmed Fish in the UK (Andrew Voas).


The Protection of Animals Act 1911.

The Protection of Animals (Scotland) Act 1912.

The Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1968.

The Welfare of Farmed Animals Regulations 2000.

The Welfare of Farmed Animals (Scotland) Regulations 2000.

The Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995.

The Welfare of Animals (Transport) (Scotland) Regulations 2006.

The Welfare of Animals (Transport) (England) Order 2006.

The Welfare of Animals (Transport) (Wales) Order 2007.

New welfare acts.

Influences on legislation.

Enforcement of welfare legislation.

Other approaches to improving animal welfare.



Part II Aquaculture and FishWelfare.

Chapter 7 Fish Farmer's Perspective of Welfare (Nick Read).


Trout farming.

On-farm welfare interactions.

Industry commitment to welfare.

Perceived welfare issues.

The reality.

Responsibility for welfare.

Stakeholder action and achievement.

Best practice.





Chapter 8 Stocking Density and the Welfare of Farmed Salmonids (James F. Turnbull, Ben P. North, Tim Ellis, Colin E. Adams, James Bron, Craig M. MacIntyre and Felicity A. Huntingford).


Assessing fish welfare.

Stocking density in cages.

Stocking density in tanks, ponds and raceways.

Stocking density and behaviour.

Relationship between stocking density and welfare.

Should we control stocking density to protect fish welfare?.




Chapter 9 Fin Erosion in Farmed Fish (Tim Ellis, Birgit Oidtmann, Sophie St-Hilaire, James F. Turnbull, Ben P. North, Craig M. MacIntyre, John Nikolaidis, Imogen Hoyle, Steve C. Kestin and Toby G. Knowles).


What is fin erosion?

Which species are affected by fin erosion?

How extensive a problem is fin erosion?

How long has fin erosion been recognised as a problem?

How is fin erosion assessed?

Which fins are affected?

When does fin erosion develop?

Is fin erosion a welfare issue?

What causes fin erosion?

What about healing and regeneration?

What else affects fin erosion?

Can fin erosion be used as a welfare indicator?




Chapter 10 The Influences of Water Quality on the Welfare of Farmed Rainbow Trout: a Review (Craig M. MacIntyre, Tim Ellis, Ben P. North and James F. Turnbull).


Dissolved oxygen.




Carbon dioxide.

Suspended solids.

Gas supersaturation.






Heavy metals.

Water flow.





Chapter 11 Welfare of Fish During Transport (Peter J. Southgate).


Transport systems.

Legislation and guidance.

The impact of transport on fish welfare.

Minimising the impact of transport on welfare.

Monitoring of fish welfare during transport.



Chapter 12 Disease and Medicines – the Welfare Implications (Tony Wall).


Disease: the welfare consequences.

Medicines: the welfare implications.

Disease and treatments: examples.



Chapter 13 Welfare and Deformities in Fish (Edward J. Branson and Tom Turnbull).


Soft tissue deformities.

Skeletal system.



Chapter 14 Welfare of Fish at Harvest (David H.F. Robb).


Pre-harvest preparations.


Removal of the fish from the cage.

Transport to slaughter.

Sedation, stunning, slaughter and killing.

Bleed out.



Chapter 15 The Use of Stakeholder Focus Groups to Identify Indicators for the On-farm Assessment of Trout Welfare (Ben P. North, Tim Ellis, James Bron, Toby G. Knowles and James F. Turnbull).



Farmers' focus group (Winchester, September 2004).

Fish Veterinary Society meeting (Edinburgh, November 2004).

Retailers, NGOs and Governmental organisations' focus group (London, January 2005).

General discussion of authors.



Part III Ornamental Fish andWelfare.

Chapter 16 The Welfare of Ornamental Fish (Chris Walster).


Trade statistics.



Arrival at destination.

Fish health.

General considerations.




Colour Plates.

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