Work with fish welfare in hatcheries

This report describes findings from a qualitative study of incentives for fish welfare in hatcheries. This is part of a research project funded by the The Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance's Research Fund Incentives for fish welfare in juvenile fish production.

The study is a collaboration between the Veterinary Institute and NTNU Social Research and was completed in 2020.

We have interviewed 18 people who are involved in smolt production in Norwegian fish farming companies. The topics for the interviews are incentives for work that promotes fish welfare, including knowledge and organizational support.

The results show that incentives are e.g. how the organization facilitates the use and development of competence, collaboration, production plans with room for biological variation, and contact with regulatory developers.

There are many practical and biological knowledge gaps. This study has suggested some practicalities that hatcheries should consider introducing to promote fish welfare:

• Customize production
• Use and understand the information they have
• Use especially competent operators in a robust organization
• A critical and strong fish health team
• A present management
• Dialogue with other organizations and the authorities
• Fish welfare competence for all
Running a biological production require