BORIS Theses

BORIS Theses
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Towards an effective improvement of fish health and welfare in aquaculture with standards for protocols for both the evaluation of mycotoxins and the on-farm assessment of fish welfare

Tschirren, Linda (2021). Towards an effective improvement of fish health and welfare in aquaculture with standards for protocols for both the evaluation of mycotoxins and the on-farm assessment of fish welfare. (Thesis). Universität Bern, Bern

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Applied research in fish health and welfare misses methodological standards in certain areas and, hence, reasonable standardisation can assist effective research and facilitate improvements of fish health and welfare in aquaculture. This thesis reveals that this process of standardisation requires profound understanding of the system at hand in order to balance advantages and drawbacks of standards. By testing and developing standards for protocols this thesis contributes to improvements in fish health and welfare in the promising food production sector of aquaculture. Standards bring continuity across space and time, yet they adapt and evolve and hence standardisation is an ongoing process. In applied research, where theoretical standardisation directly encounters practical complexity, applicability may force compromises on ideal standards that render standardisation an act of balance and reasoning. Especially in young fields of research and industry, such as aquaculture, the procedure of standardisation therefore must be preceded by the question about advantages and disadvantages of standards. Aquaculture faces challenges like digitalisation, biosecurity and sustainability as well as increasing expectations regarding the production of environmentally sustainable food with an animal-friendly husbandry. Yet fish farming falls short of a profound understanding of the needs of fish and especially the ability to measure and assess fish health and welfare. The applied research in fish health and welfare is a rising and interdisciplinary field, that may benefit from better standards and improved standardisation. Fish health is fundamental for an environmentally, economically and ethically successful farming and can be measured with standardised protocols. One such protocol, the fish embryo acute toxicity test, was used in chapter 1 of this thesis to investigate the effects of mycotoxins during embryogenesis. Mycotoxicosis increasingly affects aquaculture due to contaminated fish feeds, which necessitates expedient and efficient research. The chapter shows that this standardised protocol can benefit the investigation of mycotoxicosis in fish. The chapter further reveals a considerable variability in toxicological datasets, which impedes the necessary hazard characterisation of mycotoxins. Chapter 2 therefore explores potential factors contributing to this variability and formulates specific suggestions that can contribute to an improved standardisation in hazard characterisation trials. The chapter emphasises that and how better standards can benefit hazard characterisation processes for mycotoxins in aquaculture. Fish welfare, contrary to fish health, lacks established and proven methods for a standardised assessment. As fish welfare is crucial for fish farming, chapter 3 elaborates on the development of a standardised protocol for on-farm fish welfare assessment. The model presented is comprehensive, applicable and developable and includes a user-friendly software application. This more standardised method can facilitate the harmonised on-farm evaluation of fish welfare which will promote improvements within the industry, will assist the fact-based discussion about fish welfare in aquaculture, will enable expedient advancements in regulations and will contribute towards a fish-friendly meat product.

Item Type: Thesis
Dissertation Type: Cumulative
Date of Defense: 12 July 2021
Subjects: 500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
Institute / Center: 08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)
Depositing User: Hammer Igor
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2021 14:20
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2022 00:30

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