The fisheries project of the CRI involves MMC Tendos (industry partner), CMR and the University in Bergen (Dept. of Biology (BIO) and Dept. of Physics & Technology (IFT)). The projects aim is to monitor and improve welfare and handling of pelagic fish as well as farmed fish. This achieved by performing a series of experiments both in laboratory but also in field tests. The project plans to include two PhD research fellows through out the CRI period of eight years.

Background
Research shows clearly that poor welfare conditions results in low fish quality resulting in a low economical value for the end products. The consumers have recently become much more aware of this positive correlation between fish welfare and fish quality. This implies a strong demand for humanely farm environments and post harvest treatment for both farmed and caught fish.  It is therefore necessary for a company to keep the treatment of fish in correct processing line – not only taking into account the fact that the customers are very loyal to a given fish brand product and in this respect can influence the marked dramatically, but also the fact that the industry along the product line would increase the economical value of their products (Cooke, 2001). In this respect improving the quality of the fish will be a win-win situation for both the consumers and the producers. It is unfortunately very difficult to actually define and measure the welfare state, out of physical context (Ashley, 2007).
 
In common practice the caught or farmed fish are transported to a slaughterhouse or processing plant before processed. The different sequences during the transport, such as loading /pumping, transporting/unloading are recognized to increase the stress level of the fish leading to reduced flesh quality (Wall, 2001). During pumping a large number of fish will enter a holding tank trough a pipe.  The variation in water qualities changing environments combined with high densities in the holding tanks combined with increased carbon dioxide concentrations strongly influences the stress level in the fish (Farrell, 2006). Oxygen is added to the holding tanks under transport to reduce stress, however during this process the fish may easily be damaged, transfer of disease is a hazard, and the fish may actually die due to the rough treatment (Ashley, 2001; Wall 2001). On arrival to the slaughter plant the fish is transferred to net pens for recovery before slaughter and further processing.
 
References
Ashley, P.J., 2007. Fish welfare: Current issues in aquaculture. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 104: 199-235
 
Cooke, M., 2001. Ethical consideration for the production of farmed fish – The retailer’s viewpoint. In: Kestin S.C. and Warris P.D. Farmed Fish Quality. Blackwell Science. Oxford. Pp. 116-119
 
Farrell, A.P.T., 2006. Bulk oxygen uptake measured with over 60,000 kg of adult salmon during live-haul transportation at sea. Aquaculture. 254: 646-652
 
Wall, A.J., 2001. Ethical consideration in the handling and slaughter of farmed fish. In: Kestin S.C. and Warris P.D. Farmed Fish Quality. Blackwell Science. Oxford. Pp. 108-115
 
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