Natalia Matvienko, Vitalii Nedosekov, Mykhailo Koziy, Alla Kravchenko

Fish welfare in Ukraine

Abstract Fish welfare is a very important aquaculture criterion that is affected by various factors. In Ukraine, fish welfare is unregulated, except for certain aspects of fish keeping, fishing rules and sanitation requirements. In general, legislation is too general and concise. Therefore, we carried out a study on several critical aspects of fish welfare in Ukraine: 1) fish farming management, 2) environmental factors and parameters of the aquatic environment in fish farming, 3) staff, 4) feeding, 5) fish behaviour and stocking density, 6) fish health, 7) impact of stressors on fish reproduction, and 8) antimicrobial resistance. The analysis shows problems in specialized fish farms, such as non-compliance with rearing technology, lack of quality feed and high feed cost. Analysis of the epizootic situation regarding fish diseases during the last 10 years shows that invasive and infectious diseases are recorded in almost all fishpond farms. Nosological profile pathogens were bacteria of genera Aeromonas (40%), Pseudomonas (28%), and Edwardsiella, Proteus, Yersinia, Flavobacterium, and Micrococcus (all five accounting for 32%). Analysis of the state of welfare indicates the need to develop an evaluation system of fish welfare and its implementation in Ukraine. We consider that it is necessary to develop an algorithm for implementing the best practices of fish welfare based on assessment and research, improvement of legal framework, and implementation of effective programmes for the control of aquatic animal welfare.


Keywords Fish welfare; critical aspects of welfare; fish farming; fish diseases

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