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Aquatic Life Institute has launched a new report which seeks to adopt an animal welfare-based approach in capturing fisheries. Key Welfare Recommendations for Marine introduces the concept of an animal welfare-based approach (WBA) to capture fisheries. Also, requests more research and financial support from all relevant stakeholders.

The aim is to develop ‘welfare-minded’ fishing gear, soak times and retrieval rates, scale-up humane stunning and slaughter onboard, and limit the capture of non-target species. This is primarily destined for fisheries management professionals and other relevant decision-makers in the industry.

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According to the institute, the objective is “to show that animal welfare issues in commercial fisheries are widespread and significant and that the adoption of an animal welfare-based approach (WBA) to capture fisheries management is urgently needed.”

Finally, they insist an animal WBA gives “equal weighting” to both the welfare of target animals and the welfare of other animals indirectly affected by fishing activities (via bycatch and ghost gear).

Five Key Pilars

The report is divided into five specific sections; capture and retrieval; onboard handling; stunning & slaughter; bycatch; and abandoned fishing gear. In addition to this, the organism advises there is a need to include measures that can reduce the suffering of wild-caught aquatic animals within the broader discussion on sustainable fisheries.

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