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BENEFISH — Result In Brief

Project ID: 44118
Funded under: FP6-POLICIES
Country: Germany

Feast of fish

An examination of costs and benefits regarding measures to improve aquaculture in Europe will help improve the quality and quantity of fish that reaches the market.
Feast of fish
Quality fishing is good for the economy and the European diet, but more effort is needed to streamline the costs and improve the benefits of aquaculture. The EU-funded project 'Evaluation and modelling of benefits and costs of fish welfare interventions in European aquaculture' (Benefish) was an excellent initiative in this direction.

The project employed operational welfare indicators (OWIs) to understand control measures and their impact on production, quality and consumers. It evaluated costs and benefits of the measures through case studies and developed a decision analysis model to compare proposed solutions.

Benefish began by identifying the costs and causes of mortality in aquaculture, looking closely at measures to reduce the phenomenon. It then investigated the reasons behind fin damage, particularly in farmed species, and outlined solutions to combat it. This was followed by a cost-benefit analysis of feed patterns in fish rearing and a study of the effects of varying carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in intensive rearing systems.

Another key milestone for the project involved in-depth modelling of the effects of OWIs on productivity, as well as the costs and benefits of welfare interventions, using advanced statistical approaches. From this, the project drew conclusions on ethical values and animal welfare in food production, in addition to deriving more knowledge regarding pricing and communication strategies in farming.

Among the most important achievements of the project were the development of a cost-benefit model of fish supply and a decision-making tool for fish welfare management to evaluate alternative strategies. The tool is expected to help improve decision making in aquaculture and support better practices. The project results have been published in several science journals and on the Benefish website to ensure maximum benefit in the sector.

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