Important legal notice
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Fisheries and Aquaculture
Fisheries and Aquaculture - Towards sustainable development of fishing and aquaculture activities
“WEALTH will help to reduce the uncertainties besetting the fish-farming industry by identifying the husbandry factors that influence the incidence of disease outbreaks and fish welfare.”

The problem

Despite past improvements in diagnoses, sanitary controls and the widespread use of vaccination, the health and welfare of farmed fish remains a problem for the European aquaculture industry. The causes are known to exist in the genetic make-up of stocks, and the environmental conditions and husbandry practices affecting the fish. Although some important components of this complex matrix have been identified and studied, current knowledge is incomplete and fragmented, and a holistic view of how the well-being of farmed fish can be maximised is still lacking.

WEALTH  Improving the health and welfare of farmed fish


The WEALTH project aims to gain an in-depth understanding of the factors affecting the health of farmed fish. It will:

  • Identify the key development stages – and husbandry practices – in which fish are most vulnerable to stress-induced infections
  • Prepare good practice guidelines to help improve health and welfare throughout the European aquaculture industry
  • Focus on salmon and sea bass, although the results will probably be relevant across a broad range of cultivated species

Contribution to policy development:

  • WEALTH will help to develop EU aquaculture policy by providing quantitative information on factors affecting the health and welfare of farmed fish
  • Guidelines for a code of practice on good husbandry will help the Union set the highest possible ethical standards to meet the growing concerns for the welfare of all farmed animals, including fish

Project deliverables

  • Experiments with fish exposed to a range of environmental variables and husbandry practices – March 2004-September 2006
  • Identify parameters controlling innate and acquired immunity – June 2004-March 2007
  • Genome-wide search for genetic markers of stressful husbandry, impaired disease resistance and immune response – February 2005-March 2007


  • Mid-term progress report – September 2005
  • Final project reports – June 2007

Technical information

Project acronym: WEALTH
Project’s official full title: WElfare and heALTH in sustainable aquaculture
Research priority: Modernisation and sustainability of fisheries, including aquaculture-based production systems
Specific webpage: Details not yet available
Proposal/contract no: 501984
Start date: 1 March 2004
European Commission scientific officer: Mário Lopes dos Santos (

Coordinator: Johan Glette
Name: Institute of Marine Research, Department of Aquaculture
Abbreviated Name: IMR
Address: PO Box 1870 Nordnes, 5817 Bergen
Country: Norway
Tel: +47 55 23 85 00
Fax: +47 55 23 85 31


Name: Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer
Abbreviated Name: IFREMER
Country: France

Name: Centre for Environment Fisheries & Aquaculture Science
Abbreviated Name: CEFAS
Country: UK

Name: National Centre for Marine Research
Abbreviated Name: NCMR
Country: Greece

Name: University of Murcia, Laboratory of Fish Immunology
Abbreviated Name: UM
Country: Spain

Name: Göteborg University, Fish Endocrinology Laboratory
Abbreviated Name: UGOT
Country: Sweden

Name: Norwegian School of Veterinary Sciences
Abbreviated Name: NSVS
Country: Norway

Name: Fisheries Research Services
Abbreviated Name: FRS
Country: UK

Name: Institute of Marine Bio­logy of Crete 
Abbreviated name: IMBC
Country: Greece

Name: Instituto Investigaciones Marinas, Laboratorio Nacional Referencia de Enfermedades de Moluscos Bivalvos
Abbreviated Name: CSIC
Country: Spain

Name: Wageningen University
Abbreviated Name: WU
Country: The Netherlands

Name: Instituto Centrale per la Ricerca Scientifica e Technologica Applicata al Mare 
Abbreviated Name: ICRAM
Country: Italy