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A new integrative framework for the study of fish welfare based on the concepts of allostasis, appraisal and coping styles

A new integrative framework for the study of fish welfare based on the concepts of allostasis, appraisal and coping styles

Objective

COPEWELL aims to provide a better understanding of the underpinning mechanisms and basic knowledge about the physiology, biology, and behaviour of fishes and to give a deeper understanding of the basic mechanisms involved in coping styles. We will use an innovative hypothesis-driven multidisciplinary approach that aims to explore the links between brain function, behaviour and adaptive plasticity (WPs 1 and 2). Underlying mechanisms will be addressed by localising key elements of the stress-responsive serotonergic and learning and memory systems in the telencephalon, and for the first time also analyse rates of brain cell proliferation, neurogenesis, and expression of genes controlling other aspects of brain function, as learning and memory, in fish expressing different coping styles. The project will also focus on the understanding of how animals experience their world, based on appraisal theory and experimental studies of appraisal mechanisms in farmed fish, and not simply on the description of animal behaviour or stress responses (WP2 Appraisal). COPEWELL will further study the ontogeny of brain function and neuroendocrine stress responses in the call species Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and sea bream (Sparus aurata), and will provide new insights on the interrelations between different relevant husbandry practices, plasticity of brain function and stress response during early ontogeny. COPEWELL will explore potential consequences of early life stress experiences on the welfare and quality of juvenile fish, substantiate the concept of allostatic stress regulation in fish and determine thresholds between eustress that are considered positive for welfare and distress that can have severe negative consequences for fish welfare as: “it will attempt to discriminate between normal adaptive stress responses and situations of potential consequence to animal welfare, in relation to different relevant husbandry practices and rearing methods” (WP3Allostasis and WP4 Ontogeny). The expected impact the COPEWELL project is to deepen our knowledge on the development of the brain function, behaviour and stress response in relation to the different husbandry practises and rearing methods. It will also serve to define how short or long episodes of stress during the early life affect the welfare and quality of juveniles and adult fish (WPs 3 & 4). It will significantly contribute in providing and extending the knowledge basis for the development of tools such as new individual-based indicators for a better assessment of fish welfare, e.g. by identifying and verifying non-invasive indicators of coping styles. Perhaps most important, COPEWELL will provide a new framework, based on evolutionary principles and an understanding of subjective experience of welfare as an evolved survival mechanism, making welfare available for scientific inquiry.

Coordinator

HAVFORSKNINGSINSTITUTTET

Address

Nordnesgaten 50
5817 Bergen

Norway

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 537 430,70

Administrative Contact

Merethe Tødenes (Ms.)

Participants (17)

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NOFIMA MARIN AS

Norway

CENTRO DE CIENCIAS DO MAR DO ALGARVE

Portugal

EU Contribution

€ 333 236

HELLENIC CENTRE FOR MARINE RESEARCH

Greece

EU Contribution

€ 475 372

ISPA CRL

Portugal

EU Contribution

€ 246 019

NOFIMA AS

Norway

EU Contribution

€ 349 911

TCN Partnership Transnational Consulting Partnership

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 49 253,31

STICHTING KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 388 579

UNIVERSITETET I OSLO

Norway

EU Contribution

€ 290 360

UNI RESEARCH AS

Norway

EU Contribution

€ 313 385

UNIVERSITAT AUTONOMA DE BARCELONA

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 135 756,09

PANEPISTIMIO KRITIS

Greece

EU Contribution

€ 262 544

THE UNIVERSITY OF STIRLING

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 307 707,90

Uppsala University

Sweden

EU Contribution

€ 280 555

DANMARKS TEKNISKE UNIVERSITET

Denmark

EU Contribution

€ 164 309

INSTITUT FRANCAIS DE RECHERCHE POUR L'EXPLOITATION DE LA MER

France

EU Contribution

€ 193 700

PANEPISTIMIO PATRON

Greece

EU Contribution

€ 95 600

STICHTING WAGENINGEN RESEARCH

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 75 000

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 265957

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 July 2011

  • End date

    31 December 2015

Funded under:

FP7-KBBE

  • Overall budget:

    € 6 058 208,40

  • EU contribution

    € 4 498 718

Coordinated by:

HAVFORSKNINGSINSTITUTTET

Norway