Animal Welfare Research Needs for Farmed Salmonids

Rearing units

  • Safe and effective ozone and associated oxidants in saltwater recirculating aquaculture systems
  • Effect of the spectral composition of light on the welfare of salmonids at different life stages
  • Effects of different light intensities and photoperiods (compared with 24-hour constant light) on salmonid welfare at all life stages
  • Behavioural studies of salmonid preferences for and responses to different biodensities
  • What types of enrichments contribute to positive welfare and how can these enrichments be implemented and evaluated at different life stages?

Feeding management

  • The point at which feed withdrawal becomes a welfare issue caused by negative metabolic states
  • Viable alternatives to long feed withdrawal during depuration

Sea Lice

  • Sub-lethal effects of sea lice infestation (e.g., mechanical irritation, osmotic imbalances, disease transfer)
  • Methods to reduce injuries and other welfare issues associated with mechanical sea lice barriers and other lice removal technologies
  • Health and welfare impacts of repeated chemical and non-chemical sea lice control methods, and the use of multiple treatment modalities simultaneously
  • Impact of environmental changes (e.g., temperature, oxygen, salinity) on the health and welfare of salmonids undergoing sea lice treatment
  • Selective breeding for sea lice resistance


  • Strategies to improve environmental resilience of triploid fish
  • Origins and mechanisms behind observed increased rates of deformity in post-smolt triploid fish
  • Use of fish scale or water samples to estimate cortisol levels as a measure of stress
  • Welfare implications of identification methods (e.g., tagging, fin clipping) and possible approaches to pain control
  • Emergency euthanasia methods (e.g., during transportation)