Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 153–162 | Cite as

Safeguarding the welfare of farmed fish at harvest

  • J. A. LinesEmail author
  • J. Spence


Fish welfare at harvest is easily compromised by poor choice of handling and slaughter methods, lack of attention to detail and by unnecessary adherence to fish farming traditions. The harvest process comprises fasting the fish to empty the gut, crowding the fish, gathering and moving the fish using brails, fish pumps, and sometimes also road or boat transport and finally stunning and killing the fish. The harvesting processes commonly used for bass, bream, carp, catfish, cod, eel, halibut, pangasius, salmon, tilapia, trout, tuna and turbot are outlined. These harvesting processes are discussed; the consequences for fish welfare identified and practical tests which can be made at the harvest site highlighted. Welfare at harvest for the majority of farmed fish species can be improved by adopting and adapting existing procedures already known to be beneficial for fish welfare through their use in other fish farming systems or with other species. It is seldom necessary to develop completely new concepts or methods.


Fish Welfare Slaughter Stunning Harvest Transport 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Silsoe Livestock SystemsSilsoeUK
  2. 2.The Humane Slaughter Association, The Old SchoolWheathampsteadUK

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