João L. Saraiva
Fish Ethology and Welfare Group, CCMAR, Faro, Portugal
The topic of fish welfare in aquaculture is gaining traction in policy, research and practice. Our current understanding and recent advances in fish biology demonstrate that fish are sentient beings, equipped with neural, cognitive and behavioural substrates to experience affective states in a similar way to other vertebrates. In addition, research also suggests that welfare is directly related to product quality in farmed fish. The acknowledgement of fish sentience carries a series of practical challenges: can we measure fish welfare? Can we assess stress, pain and other negative affective states in fish? Can we use this information to improve the welfare of fish? In this talk I will try to demonstrate that the answer to these questions is yes, and provide possible solutions to assess and improve the fish welfare in aquaculture.
João Saraiva is a fish ethologist with a special interest in welfare. He is currently leading the Fish Ethology and Welfare Group at the Centre of Marine Sciences in Faro, Portugal and is the president and founder of the FishEthoGroup Association. With a research background on behaviour and communication in teleosts, João now focuses on the application of fundamental science to improve the welfare of fishes, both in aquaculture and in fisheries. He is the author of over 50 scientific publications and co-editor of a book on the topic of fish welfare. The team lead by João has an extensive record of achievements in research, training, dissemination and consultancy. He is an invited assistant professor of Ethology at the University of Algarve, and also works as a consultant for the European Commission, certification bodies and other private stakeholders.