Rey Planellas S & Ellis M (2018) The use of environmental enrichment to reduce fin damage in farmed Atlantic salmon Salmo salar (Presentation) [Environmental enrichment in farmed salmon]. WAS2018: World Aquaculture Conference, Montpellier, 25.08.2018-29.08.2018.
Growing public demands for aquaculture sustainability and environmental concerns have led to an increased interest in fish welfare. Fin damage is a well-known problem in many species of farmed fish, detrimentally affecting fish health and farm productivity. In Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) damage to the dorsal fin is the most common form of external injury and is perceived as a welfare issue. Fish fins are innervated living tissue and therefore fin damage can potentially cause pain. It also provides a route of entry for infections and affect swimming ability. Damaged fins are perceived as occurring in a poor welfare environment therefore has potential as a non-invasive operational welfare indicator (OWI) under practical farming conditions. The causes of fin damage are multifactorial however there is some evidence that fin biting by other fish is a major cause and is exacerbated by periods of food restriction. The use of structural enrichment in experimental tanks has been shown to reduce fin damage, however there are no studies of the effects of enrichment at the farm level. The focus of this study is to evaluate the effect of enrichment in salmon rearing tanks as an on-farm method for reducing fin damage.
salmon farming, welfare, enrichment