Tools for improving the welfare of lumpfish (RD103)


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.

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Project Outcome:

Swansea University, Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research with the help of salmon aquaculture industry partners developed the Lumpfish Welfare Watcher – a web-based and desktop application designed to help fish farmers assess and improve the welfare of lumpfish.

The Lumpfish Welfare Watcher includes 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 Rapid Welfare Assessment tool to calculate the overall welfare of lumpfish; 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.

“To be effective, welfare indicators need to be practical, or they will not be used by fish farmers. We first developed the Lumpfish Welfare Score Index, which was validated and published in a scientific journal. We now developed easy to use welfare calculators that will help farmers implement better welfare practices” notes Prof. Carlos Garcia De Leaniz, project PI.

“The Lumpfish Welfare Watcher was designed with farmers in mind: it provides a rapid assessment of lumpfish welfare and recommends a course of action – this free web-based application is practical, easy and instructive”, noted Dr Sara Barrento, project manager.

STATUS: Completed

Project Lead

Swansea University, Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture Research (CSAR)