Important legal notice
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Fisheries and Aquaculture
Fisheries and Aquaculture - Towards sustainable development of fishing and aquaculture activities
“To reduce the pain and suffering of farmed fish.”

The problem

Fish are now known to perceive noxious stimuli and to demonstrate behavioural responses characteristic of a painful experience. Thus, there is increasing pressure on regulatory authorities to safeguard fish welfare. Farmed-fish welfare legislation and regulation requires a detailed understanding of the relevant biology and ethical issues, as well as practical matters regarding welfare assessment and monitoring, and the economic implications of their implementation. 

BENEFISH  Evaluating the economic impact of maintaining the welfare of farmed fish



  • Collect and analyse datasets relating to four widely applicable operational welfare indicators
  • Define relationships between selected welfare control measures and their consequences for production, quality and consumer perception

Case studies will provide the basis for cost-benefit analyses of potential welfare control measures and development of a decision analysis model allowing comparison between various welfare control measures on the basis of their biological and monetary consequences.

Contribution to policy development:

  • BENEFISH will help policy-makers to develop cost-effective measures for regulating fish farming to meet consumers’ increasing expectations for animal welfare throughout the supply chain.
  • A rigorous scientific approach to data collection and analysis will inform all parties engaged in the regulatory and decision-making process, thereby ensuring that all future developments within the industry optimise animal welfare.
  • The project will help all interested parties to understand the welfare implications of key actions and procedures throughout the farmed-fish supply chain.

Project deliverables

  • Project management handbook – April 2007
  • Progress reports – August 2007, February and August 2008, February and August 2009
  • A series of reports on risk factors associated with and prevalence of fish mortality, and other relevant issues – March 2008
  • Comparative model of mortalities in intensive aquaculture – March 2009
  • Final report and policy implementation plan – February 2010


  • Project website – updated regularly
  • Newsletter highlighting project progress – January 2010
  • Submission of significant results for publication in international peer-reviewed journals – as needed
  • Presentation of project findings at formal and informal, national, regional and international meetings – as opportunities permit
  • Circulation of information on project via press releases – as needed

Technical information

Project acronym: BENEFISH
Project’s official full title: Evaluation and Modelling of Benefits and Costs of Fish Welfare Interventions in European Aquaculture
Research priority: Modernisation and sustainability of fisheries, including aquaculture-based production systems
Specific webpage: 
Proposal/contract no:044118
Start date: 1 February 2007
Kick off meeting: February 2007
Completion date: February 2010
European Commission scientific officer: Jacques Fuchs,  

Coordinator: Dr John Dallimore
Name: Trans-National Consulting Partnership
Abbreviated name: TNC
Address: Grosse Strasse 19
22926, Ahrensburg
Country: Germany
Tel: +49 4102 679 584
Fax: +49 4102 679 585


Name: University of Glasgow
Abbreviated name: UGLA
Country: United Kingdom

Name: Norwegian Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture Research
Abbreviated name: NIFA
Country: Norway

Name: University of Stirling
Abbreviated name: USTIR
Country: United Kingdom

Name: Institute of Marine Resource and Ecosystem Studies
Abbreviated name: IMARES
Country: Netherlands

Name: Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute
Abbreviated name: FGFRI
Country: Finland

Name: Institut Français de Recherche pour L’Exploitation de la Mer
Abbreviated name: IFREMER
Country: France 

Name: National Veterinary Institute
Abbreviated name: NVI
Country: Norway

Name: Agrotechnology and Food Innovations B.V.
Abbreviated name: AFSG
Country: Netherlands