News from fair-fish: January 2021

A hopeful welcome to our first 2021 newsletter.

Just a few short news to establish the still very new year.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any question, critique or suggestion that might struck your mind while reading. 

Due to an internal error, few recipients might receive this newsletter twice. We apologise.

First ever fish welfare directives

During the last two years, our research group has been working on criteria and indicators of fish welfare in 24 species, to be adopted by the international certification scheme "Friend of the Sea" (FOS) and supported by "Open Philanthropy".

Handed over by last autumn, FOS integrated our suggestions into its aquaculture standard. The draft of the FOS fish welfare directives in aquaculture is now subject to comments by stakeholders. This public round is open until end of January. See the invitation to comment and the drafts  (on that page, scroll down to get all the drafted documents).

As Open Philanthropy recently put it, "Friend of the Sea became the first major aquaculture certifier to issue species-specific fish welfare standards". We are proud and happy to have contributed with science and consulting to this result!

Fish Welfare Course—Last call!

There is still place for attendants––please register asap to secure yours.
Till now, over 60 persons from 25 countries around the globe registered to attend our Fish Welfare Course II which will be held online from 1st to 4th of February 2021.

The promotion of best practices towards good welfare of farmed fishes must rely on a) solid scientific knowledge of the biology of fish and b) appropriate design and use of technical solutions. During the second edition of our Fish Welfare Course, once again top international experts in their fields will lecture each module. The intensive 4-day training programme will cover: sentience, pain, and mental aspects of fish welfare; ethology, biology and physiology of stress, and sensory systems in fish; operational welfare indicators and improvement tools; policy, law, and welfare certifications. There will be a focus on practical application of the knowledge acquired during the course, either by thought exercises, problem solving or case-studies. Participants are expected to have at least some background in fish science, aquaculture, fisheries or related disciplines.

The Course is co-organised by our FishEthoGroup association and the Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR, Portugal).  

What about fish welfare in fisheries?

When fair-fish started investigations into ways how to improve fish welfare in aquaculture, minimising pain in fisheries was as important to us. After having gained experience with artisanal fishermen––first in Switzerland and then in Senegal––and in exchange with our British colleagues from fishcount , we drafted a first overview of the impact of fishing methods and gears on the fishes concerned in order to help consumers to source fish from a less harmful catch.

This year, we are preparing for the launch of a new research and consulting project to help fisheries to reduce the animals' pain and suffering. Any input or ideas are welcome!

Summer Shoal 2021

Save the date: 3rd week of September! Positively thinking, we are keen on planning for the 4th Summer Shoal which we were forced to cancel last year for obvious reasons. The Shoal will take place, as in 2018, at the beautiful location "Pedras d'el Rei" at the Atlantic coast east of Faro in Portugal.

Have a look at past Summer Shoals ––and put a mark in your agenda for next September!

Thank you for your interest in our news. We will be happy to keep you posted on coming news.

Best wishes for everything you plan and hope to achieve in 2021, and before all, good health!

Kind regards,

Billo Heinzpeter Studer
fair-fish international association