In keeping with our value of transparency, we’re publishing this post to update our readers on FWI’s work to help fishes in China. Specifically, this post discusses:
Our previous work in China.
Why we are pausing our work.
Our next steps in China.
You can read more about each below.
FWI’s Work in China
Fish Welfare Initiative has been working to advance aquatic animal welfare in China since 2020. Our early projects included a Scoping Report and relationship-building with local stakeholders, including the International Cooperation Committee on Animal Welfare (ICCAW)—one of the key players in animal welfare in China.
In early 2021, we first engaged our now China Specialist, Lu Chen, to help with this fast-growing program, particularly relationship-building with Chinese-speaking stakeholders.
The following year, we co-hosted the first-ever Aquatic Animal Welfare Forum at the World Conference on Farm Animal Welfare (WCFAW). This event further embedded the welfare of aquatic animals among Chinese aquaculture stakeholders, including academics, nonprofits, industry, and government. Later that year, we conducted a field visit to explore farm conditions and further strengthen our understanding of aquatic animal welfare in the Chinese context.
In the first half of 2023, our main focus was to define priority species for a welfare standard that ICCAW wanted to submit to the Chinese standards authority later this year. The standards have been drafted, and we are waiting for them to submit them to their team of Chinese aquaculture experts. Following this, we conducted another field visit and will shortly publish our findings. The second half of the year saw us co-host the World Farm Animal Welfare-Beijing Consensus Meeting at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Pausing our China Work
Though a) we believe that we have made important progress (see above), and b) even more opportunities, such as new collaboration, have arisen, we have come to the conclusion that we do not currently have sufficient staffing or strategic guidance to run this program to the level we want. Relatedly, we and our current China Specialist, Lu Chen, have decided to part ways. We would also like to take this moment to publicly thank Lu for her considerable achievements towards advancing fish welfare in possibly the most important country for fish welfare in the world.
As a result of these decisions, we are pausing our work in China.
Our Next Steps in China
We remain committed to advancing fish welfare in China and are currently considering our next steps, including potentially hiring for a Managing Director level role in the first half of 2024.
We encourage you to contact us if you are interested in such a position or know someone who might be.
We are extremely grateful to all those, especially the many advisors, who have supported this program in the past. Feel free to reach out if you have questions about our next steps, these decisions, or why we made them.