Fish welfare assurance system: initial steps to set up an effective tool to safeguard and monitor farmed fish welfare at a company level

J.W. van de Vis, M. Poelman, E. Lambooij, M.L. Bégout, M. Pilarczyk

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8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The objective was to take a first step in the development of a process-oriented quality assurance (QA) system for monitoring and safeguarding of fish welfare at a company level. A process-oriented approach is focused on preventing hazards and involves establishment of critical steps in a process that requires careful control. The seven principles of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) concept were used as a framework to establish the QA system. HACCP is an internationally agreed approach for management of food safety, which was adapted for the purpose of safeguarding and monitoring the welfare of farmed fish. As the main focus of this QA system is farmed fish welfare assurance at a company level, it was named Fish Welfare Assurance System (FWAS). In this paper we present the initial steps of setting up FWAS for on growing of sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), carp (Cyprinus carpio) and European eel (Anguilla anguilla). Four major hazards were selected, which were fish species dependent. Critical Control Points (CCPs) that need to be controlled to minimize or avoid the four hazards are presented. For FWAS, monitoring of CCPs at a farm level is essential. For monitoring purposes, Operational Welfare Indicators (OWIs) are needed to establish whether critical biotic, abiotic, managerial and environmental factors are controlled. For the OWIs we present critical limits/target values. A critical limit is the maximum or minimum value to which a factor must be controlled at a critical control point to prevent, eliminate or reduce a hazard to an acceptable level. For managerial factors target levels are more appropriate than critical limits. Regarding the international trade of farmed fish products, we propose that FWAS needs to be standardized in aquaculture chains. For this standardization a consensus on the concept of fish welfare, methods to assess welfare objectively and knowledge on the needs of farmed fish are required
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-257
JournalFish Physiology and Biochemistry
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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Keywords

  • dicentrarchus-labrax
  • feeding-activity
  • animal-welfare
  • bass
  • capacity
  • rhythms
  • pattern
  • haccp

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