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Symposium on Welfare in Aquaculture 2020

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Swansea University in collaboration with the University of Crete hosted the Second Symposium on Welfare in Aquaculture on the 26th of November 2020. Over 260 participants attended this free webinar where six international speakers discussed the use of operational welfare indicators in farmed fish. This event is a follow up of the very successful "1st symposium on welfare in aquaculture - welfare indicators for novel species".

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Symposium on Welfare in Aquaculture 2020

  1. 1. #SWELA20 Webinar 26 November 2020 Report by Dr Sara Barrento Swansea University
  2. 2. THE SYMPOSIUM ON WELFARE IN AQUACULTURE SWELA20 #SWELA20 Swansea University in collaboration with the University of Crete hosted the Second Symposium on Welfare in Aquaculture on the 26th of November 2020. A big audience Over 260 participants from across all continents attended this free webinar where six international speakers discussed the use of operational welfare indicators in farmed fish. 5 fish species The Symposium focused on practical welfare indicators for 5 key farmed fish species: Atlantic salmon, lumpfish, sea bream, sea bass, and tilapia. #SWELA20 2
  3. 3. EVENT PLANNING AND ORGANIZATION This year the symposium was delivered online on the Zoom platform. Participants registered via Eventbrite. The webinar is available on YouTube and the talks can be downloaded from the symposium website. Online platforms used to organize and disseminate the webinar: ▪ Zoom ▪ Eventbrite ▪ SWELA website ▪ Twitter ▪ LinkedIn ▪ Facebook ▪ Direct email invitation WEBINAR #SWELA20 3
  4. 4. BECAUSE FISH WELFARE MATTERS There are over 250 species of fish farmed globally but their welfare requirements are in many cases unique to each species, and difficult to measure. There is a real need to develop operational welfare indicators that can be used by fish farmers under commercial conditions. This free webinar addressed a topic which is relevant to society – fish welfare matters to fish, to farmers, and also to consumers, as evidenced by the attendance of people from 38 countries “Very well set out symposium and well run. All topics very interesting.” Feedback from participant #SWELA20 4
  5. 5. THE SYMPOSIUM PROGRAMME Six speakers – six views “Good variety of topics and approaches to the problem.” Feedback from participant #SWELA20 5
  6. 6. THE SYMPOSIUM IN NUMBERS 38 19 18 8 7 5 5 1 Researcher Student Other Consultant Manager Fish farmer Welfare advocate Policy maker 33 26 17 13 7 4 Higher Education Institution Other Government Institution Fish farm company NGO Retailing Industry Worldwide participation 262 participants from all continents participated in the webinar. In this choropleth map darker blue represents a greater number of participants in individual countries. The UK had the greatest number of participants (81) followed by Norway (25), Italy (20), and the Philippines (19). From fish farmers to policy makers The graph shows the percentage of participants with different roles across the industry. Most participants were researchers and students (57%) few policy makers attended the webinar (1%). A range of institutions The graph shows the percentage of participants from the different institutions. Most participants work in the Higher Education sector (33%), there was a good representation from Government Institutions (%) and fish farm companies (13%). #SWELA20 6
  7. 7. THE SYMPOSIUM TALKS The Director of CSAR, Professor Carlos Garcia de Leaniz, at Swansea University welcomed the participants, and highlighted three main reasons for hosting this second symposium: the increasing awareness of fish welfare, the link between fish welfare and fish health, and the need for operational welfare indicators (OWIs) that can be used by fish farmers. Prof. Lluis Tort of the Autonomous University of Barcelona presented a keynote talk on Indicators of Welfare Status for Cultured Fish. Professor Tort explained the real challenges for measuring welfare in farmed fish and noted that despite fish being the most “used” animals worldwide (30,000 million/year), their welfare needs are the least well known. It was also highlighted that most scientists, and also the majority of consumers (73%) , now accept that fish can feel pain. Dr. Lars Helge Stien, of the Institute of Marine Research, focused on OWI for salmon and explained the challenges of measuring welfare in a cage environment with thousands of individuals; he also explained the different welfare indicators, and the merits of having clear decision flow- charts and 3-alert levels which are relevant for fish farmers. #SWELA20 7
  8. 8. THE SYMPOSIUM TALKS The OWIs for lumpfish were discussed by Carolina Gutierrez-Rabadan of CSAR - Swansea University. She explained the challenges of defining welfare for novel farmed species such as the lumpfish and provided examples of the importance of measuring the reliability in OWIs, and the need for simplification and validation. Carolina presented a practical Lumpfish Operational Welfare Score Index (LOWSI) and highlighted that most lumpfish she sampled in salmon farms were in good condition (70%) with only 2% in poor welfare status. Dr. Sonia Rey Planellas of Stirling University pointed out that there are few or no OWIs for tilapia, which is the second most important farmed fish in the world. Tilapia is farmed mostly in developing countries where welfare needs may not always be a priority. Another challenge is the complex social behaviour and aggression shown by this species Professor Michalis Pavlidis, of the University of Crete, discussed the different welfare challenges posed by sea bass and sea bream at different production stages; he highlighted the need to keep temperature within optimal limits as a key welfare consideration for these very important Mediterranean farmed fish. Professor Pavlidis highlighted the big improvements that the industry has made to make slaughtering more humane. #SWELA20 8
  9. 9. THE SYMPOSIUM TALKS Dr. Sofia Teixeira of Tyndall Institute in Ireland, presented non-invasive, rapid tests using smart sensors which can be used to monitor health by measuring indicators such as cortisol and other parameters that have wide applications in the assessment of immune competence, stress, growth, and behaviour. The Symposium ended with Prof. Carlos Garcia de Leaniz summarizing the talks and inviting attendants to the next Symposium on Welfare in Aquaculture which will be hosted in Crete in 2021. #SWELA20 9
  10. 10. PARTICIPANTS VIEWS “Good to get experiences in different species.” “Learning about what is the current status and knowledge on welfare indicators and measurement practices in the different species. Was able to grab some new resources that I can use for further study. “ Which topics or aspects of the symposium did you find most interesting or useful? “Future of aquaculture welfare and the technologies we can use to get there” “Consumer public/perceptions. General discussion of welfare indicators. References.” All participants found that the knowledge and information gained from participating in the Second Symposium on Welfare in Aquaculture met their expectations. Definitely 67% Mostly 20% Somehow 13% Knowledge and information gained from participating in this event: will be useful/applicable in my work. Most participants found that the knowledge and information from participating in the webinar will be useful and applicable in their work. #SWELA20 10

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