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Defining Welfare for Fish

By Marco Cerqueira and Thomas Billington

Fish Welfare Initiative works to positively influence the welfare of farmed fish. This is not only for the resulting social and environmental benefits, but also because we believe that fish deserve better treatment than they are currently given. Specifically, we believe that fish welfare is currently unsatisfactory in many aquaculture facilities. To properly understand what it means to bring positive welfare to fish, we must first understand what we refer to when we say “welfare.”


This report considers the working definition of welfare that Fish Welfare Initiative uses in its operations. Our definition rests on numerous insights throughout the history of defining welfare in animals. Therefore, we will also review relevant theories given by others, noting the aspects we considered for our definition. 

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