This project focuses on developing four complementary tools to assess the welfare of lumpfish. By improving lumpfish welfare, their ability to delouse salmon will improve and the UK lumpfish farming industry will be more sustainable.
Lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus L.) are widely used for controlling sea lice in salmon farming, but their welfare is often challenged by poor husbandry, stress, and disease outbreaks, which compromise their ability to delouse salmon and causes public concern about their use in aquaculture. It is hence important to be able to monitor the welfare of lumpfish consistently and accurately so that early remedial actions can be taken before welfare is severely compromised. This project will develop four complementary welfare tools: (1) a diagnostic chart for the rapid visual assessment of lumpfish welfare based on five operational welfare indicators, (2) an online BMI calculator for the detection of underweight fish, (3) a grader to exclude lumpfish with deformed suckers from production, and (4) an e-training platform to show fish farmers how to manage lumpfish welfare. These tools will help monitor and improve the welfare of lumpfish, reduce stress-related mortalities, and help make the incipient lumpfish farming industry in the UK more sustainable.
Swansea University, Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture Research (CSAR)