The legal treatment of fishes in EU legislation raises many issues, mainly related to the welfare of fishes in the aquaculture industry.
How can the suffering of fishes at the time of slaughter be avoided?, can the welfare of fishes in aquaculture be improved?, is EU legislation in accordance with scientific advances in animal welfare of fishes?.
Dr. Joao Saraiva, Director of the CCMAR (Sea Science Centre of the University of the Algarve). Portugal, together with Dr. Marita Giménez-Candela, Director of ICALP (International Center for Animal Law and Policy) and Helena Bauer, researcher at ICALP (Biologist. Alumna of the 7th Ed. of the Master in Animal Law), currently working at the German NGO "Animal's Angels", a collaborating entity of the Master (https://www. derechoanimal.info/en/entity/animals-angels-foundation-frankfurt), have achieved to put in dialogue two worlds, that of Animal Welfare Sciences and that of Animal Law -which are usually unknown to each other-, to discuss together how to improve the welfare of fishes in the aquaculture industry, of a growing importance in our two countries (Portugal and Spain) and at a global level.
The result of this joint research was published in an article in the ICALP journal, dA.Derecho Animal (Forum of Animal Law Studies) 11/1 (2020), under the title: "The legal protection of farmed fish in Europe: analysis of EU legislation as a whole and the impact of international animal welfare standards on farmed fish in Europe, DOI: https://doi.org/10.5565/rev/da.460, which has had a huge impact on specialized journals, but also in the media addressed to the general public.
We are very pleased that this result has been achieved, because it is the duty of science in a democratic state to transmit the results of research to the whole of society. It is not always easy to bring science and information together, but we at ICALP have always sought to make known the instruments for the legal protection of animals, with the indispensable support of animal welfare sciences. In fact we have a specific line of research on fish welfare, reflected in the thematic dossier, published in 2019.
To disseminate the results of research and reach all corners of society, improve the lives of animals and improve the society in which we live. To research on fishes as sentient beings and to look for improvements in the existing legislation is one of our lines of research, shared happily with the researchers of the prestigious CCMAR institute.
A selection of news items published in the Portuguese press reflects the impact of the above-mentioned article, as can be seen below: