Harvesting sustainable seafood in the 21st century should therefore embrace welfare-responsible practices that minimise injury and stress to the catch during capture and handling. This will minimise bycatch, maximise survival of released animals, while also providing tangible benefits for the fishery by improving product quality and shelf-life. To address this, industry innovators and blue stewards are raising awareness of catch welfare and designing modified fishing gears, and operational, handling and slaughter practices.
To showcase these developments, this theme session invites presentations of research on sustainable and welfare-conscious fishing practices associated with the following domains:
While this theme session is aimed primarily at wild-capture fisheries, we welcome contributions from animal welfare, aquaculture and capture & release tagging research, that would be informative for good welfare practices in wild-capture fisheries, including operational welfare indicators and handling, stunning and slaughter methods.
Beyond biological responses and indicators, we are interested in socio-economic research into consumer preferences and expectations regarding seafood quality and catch welfare, which can guide the industry in providing products that align with consumer demands.
We are also interested in proxy and/or simulation studies and meta-analytic approaches utilising and synthesizing already existing knowledge, because inherently the effectiveness of many methods can vary based on species, size, and specific circumstances.
We envisage this session will showcase examples of industry-research collaboration initiatives, for example the Catch Welfare Platform and the CareFish project.