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On farm assessment of stress level in fish

On farm assessment of stress level in fish

Objective

The main goal is to develop the first database and expert system for on farm welfare and stress level assessment in farmed fish in all ontogenetic stages (FAST-TOOL). This will include validated non-invasive behavioural and chemical stress level indicator s that can be used to monitor and quantify acute and chronic stress levels.

The main focus areas for potential indicators will be feeding motivation and individual and group swimming behaviour. Feeding motivation depends on the metabolic state of the fish and is well known to be sensitive to stress, and can be assessed by e.g. quantifying anticipatory behaviour before feeding or feed intake.

Secondly, swimming behaviour is an indicator of behaviour control level, and should be sensitive to stress level and physiological state. Our hypothesis is that under increasing stress an individual will change from individual goal directed behaviour to group controlled behaviour, and finally loose behavioural control.

The identified indicators will be cross-validated as proxy measures for stress using immunological and physiological methods. To interpret these indicators correctly and identify the stressors, essential information on present and previous rearing conditions must be available.

This will be achieved by the database and expert system, which also will give early warning when rearing conditions or stress level indicators approach harmful conditions. The expert systems will also include forecasts based on artificial neural networks.

FASTFISH will use European sea bass and Atlantic salmon as model species and tailor the FAST-TOOL to commercial production by testing on selected hatcheries and farms in periods with potentially high and low stress levels.

Finally, FASTFISH will evaluate what market-factors and governance mechanisms that will enhance the implementation of FAST-TOOL in the industry.

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Coordinator

HAVFORSKNINGSINSTITUTTET (INSTITUTE OF MARINE RESEARCH)

Address

Nordnesgatten 50
1870 Bergen

Norway

Administrative Contact

Tore KRISTIANSEN (Dr)

Participants (5)

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HELLENIC CENTRE FOR MARINE RESEARCH

Greece

INSTITUT FRANCAIS DE RECHERCHE POUR L'EXPLOITATION DE LA MER

France

NORWEGIAN SCHOOL OF VETERINARY SCIENCE

Norway

UNIVERSITY OF CRETE.

Greece

STICHTING DIENST LANDBOUWKUNDIG ONDERZOEK

Netherlands

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 22720

  • Start date

    1 January 2006

  • End date

    31 December 2008

Funded under:

FP6-POLICIES

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 785 233

  • EU contribution

    € 1 105 524

Coordinated by:

HAVFORSKNINGSINSTITUTTET (INSTITUTE OF MARINE RESEARCH)

Norway