By Dr Joao Saraiva (Fish Etho Group Centre of Marine Sciences, Faro, Portugal)
Date: 20 January 2022, 6p.m.
Fishes are misunderstood. For a variety of reasons, fishes have been kept out of consideration when it comes to safeguarding their welfare in fish farming. However, scientific data collected in the last decades provide unquestionable evidence that fish have highly developed physiological, behavioural and cognitive competences: fish feel pain, possess a wider array of senses than other vertebrates and they have the neural substrate to functionally integrate the sensory signals into a rich mental representations of the world; they use these ‘inner worlds’ to interact with each other and their environment in very complex ways; and they may even be capable of self-consciousness. But why does this matter? What can we do about it? And how? Throughout this talk I will provide answers to these 3 questions and attempt to deliver the foundations for a science-based, effective welfare policy for fish in the aquaculture sector.