Animal welfare issues in commercial fisheries are widespread and significant. In fact, wild-caught fish remains the last major food-producing sector that does not take animal welfare into consideration. This project researches and advocates for best animal welfare practices in wild capture fisheries in all stages of the capture process: capture, retrieval, onboard handling, and stunning & slaughter (and bycatch and ghost gear as additional causes of suffering).
Specifically, in capture fisheries, designing fishing gear and capture methods with welfare in mind can reduce mortality/injury, bycatch, overfishing, emissions and ghost gear. Complimenting this work to reduce pressure on wild fish populations is our animal welfare work in aquaculture, as improving fish meal fish oil composition can help cut our reliance on feed derived from wild-caught fish. With the adoption of these best practices by industry and improved guidelines and policies from governments and international institutions, not only will we reduce the suffering of aquatic animals but also improve sustainable consumption, food security, climate change mitigation, and conservation of marine animals.
Advocating for Humane Fisheries is a project endorsed through the Ocean Decade Programme Ocean Best Practices for the Decade