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Spotlight on farmed fish welfare in the Philippines

8 January 2021, at 12:30am

The welfare of farmed fish in the Philippines will be the subject of a webinar run by Fish Welfare Initiative on 14 January.

Milkfish are among the most widely produced fish species in the Philippines
Milkfish are among the most widely produced fish species in the Philippines

Animal welfare is increasingly recognised as a necessary, and consumer-requested, component of sustainable aquaculture. However, with the vast majority of current efforts at fish welfare focused on Europe, virtually no attention has been given to fish welfare and its benefits in lower- and middle-income countries throughout the world, despite the massive and growing scale of aquaculture in these countries.

The Philippines is the world’s ninth largest producer of farmed fish and Fish Welfare Initiative (FWI) believes that the county has significant potential to improve fish welfare, in both traditional and modern aquaculture systems.

This event follows the publication of Fish Welfare Initiative’s Scoping Report on the Philippines, led by Ethel C Wagas, which was funded by World Animal Protection combined with a grant from the Open Philanthropy Project.

“We conducted scoping visits and interviews between September and December 2020 to gather preliminary data on the welfare state of selected finfish farmed there. Our study has now concluded, and our results are now published on our website,” says Haven King-Nobles, FWI’s director of operations.

The scoping work highlighted welfare issues such as high mortality rates, a lack of water quality monitoring, and restricted access to proper veterinary care. During the webinar we will also discuss opportunities for improving fish welfare in the Philippines and highlight how local organizations can get involved. The presentation will conclude with an open discussion and Q&A,” he adds.

Webinar details

The event will take place on Zoom on 14 January at 19:30 Philippine time (6:30 EST // 11:30 GMT // 12:30 CET // 17:00 IST). It will also be streamed live on Facebook at the same time.

Senior editor at The Fish Site

Rob Fletcher has been writing about aquaculture since 2007, as editor of Fish Farmer, Fish Farming Expert and The Fish Site. He has an MA in history from the University of Edinburgh and an MSc in sustainable aquaculture from the University of St Andrews. He currently lives and works in Scotland.

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