First fish welfare guidelines set course for Spanish aquaculture
Equalia, Compassion in World Farming and the Spanish Aquaculture Industry Association APROMAR have published a first-of-its-kind general guidelines to improve animal welfare standards in Spanish Aquaculture.
The existence of this document is a milestone, since it establishes a general baseline and develops the first ever general guidelines on the welfare of farmed fish in Spain. This initiative helps to promote a more coordinated and responsible development of the aquaculture industry in Spain, in line with the Farm to Fork Strategy and the Strategic Guidelines for a more sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture (2021-2030).
The guide is aimed at companies and professionals in the aquaculture sector, as well as public institutions, legislators, the scientific-technological and educational sectors, and civil society.
These first Fish Welfare Guidelines for Spanish Aquaculture are the result of an ambitious collaborative work and constructive debate between aquaculture producers, animal welfare organisations, scientists and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with the aim of effectively improving the welfare of fish in Spanish aquaculture.
Spain is the second largest producer of finfish in the EU, and it is also one of the countries with the most diverse species reared.
While this first guide addresses basic concepts and recommendations for fish welfare in Spanish aquaculture, the next steps are to establish species-specific guidelines for each species farmed in Spain, taking into account the different production systems. The first species-specific guidelines will be for sea bass and sea bream.
Spanish aquaculture producers, as well as the rest of the participating entities, are aware that knowledge and social appreciation for fish welfare is evolving and their aim is for fish welfare to be viewed as an element of sustainability. These guidelines are intended to influence future legal regulations and certifications.