Aussies leading the way in fish welfare

FISHO recently reported on groundbreaking developments in fish welfare in Australia, and promoted the ike jime method for humanely dispatching your catch – via a Fishing World practical how-to video and free brochure in the September issue.

As we reported back in August, the federal government has set up the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS) to raise the standards for animal care and welfare; of which a working group teamed up with the commercial fishing industry to improve fish handling techniques for improved fish quality and better welfare outcomes. See more information on the AAWS HERE.

Australia has been a world leader in developing recreational fishing initiatives that improve fish welfare, such as the National Strategy for the Survival of Released Line Caught Fish, the NEATFish environmental standard for fishing tournaments and the National Code of Practice for Recreational and Sport Fishing. Now these fish welfare efforts are being internationally recognised, according to Fisho’s resident fish biologist Dr Ben Diggles, who is heavily involved with fish welfare efforts and our recent online humane dispatch survey – see detailed information and results HERE.

Diggles told Fisho that he’d received encouraging international feedback on the iki jime project via Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF). According to Norwegian animal welfare Policy Officer for the European Commission, Bente Bergersen – who’d been in touch with DAFF – the how-to iki jime video and dedicated website is “impressive”.

“I have to admit I’ve always been a bit sceptical to Iki jime because it requires such precision. However, you’ve dealt with that, by x-raying different fish species to locate the brain and provide ample information on this point,” Bergersen wrote via email.

“I also like the fact that you’re addressing the welfare of wild caught fish as well as that of fish in aquaculture. Not many countries have done that yet.”

“Hopefully other countries will follow your example.”

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