Animal welfare is a complex issue that includes freedom from pain (Ashley 2006). Pain as an element of animal welfare involves understanding the subjective experience of an animal, in this case, fish (Ashley 2006). Fish are traditionally viewed as not having the capability to experience pain (Ashley 2006; Rose 2002). This position has been challenged by other researchers who claim that fish experience nociception and therefore are capable of experiencing pain (Braithwaite & Huntingford 2004; Dunlop & Laming 2005; Sneddon 2003). The possession of an opioid system in fish is strong evidence that they feel pain (Posner 2009). Given that it seems apparent that fish do feel pain, their welfare is important.
Aquaculture is an expanding industry showing strong growth of 6.2% per annum with 52.5 million tonnes of f...
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...e, vol. 216, pp. 363 – 369.
Rose, JD 2002, ‘The neurobehavioral nature of fishes and the question of awareness and pain’, Reviews in Fisheries Science, vol. 10, pp. 1 – 38.
Schipp, G, Bosmans, J & Humphrey, J 2007, Northern Territory Barramundi Farming Handbook, Department of Primary Industry, Fisheries and Mines, Darwin.
Sneddon, LU 2003, ‘The evidence for pain in fish: the use of morphine as an analgesic’, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, vol. 83, no. 2, pp. 153 – 162.
Stevenson, P 2007, Closed Waters: the welfare of farmed Atlantic Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Atlantic Cod and Atlantic Halibut, Compassion in World Farming, Surrey.
Wilkinson, RJ, Paton, N and Porter, MJR 2008, ‘The effects of pre-harvest stress and harvest method on the stress response, rigor onset, muscle pH and drip loss in barramundi (Latescalcarifer)’, Aquaculture, vol. 282, pp. 26 – 32.
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