Title:

Raise awareness of the guidelines developed by the AAWWG (Aquatic Animal Welfare Working Group) with industry and review their adoption, uptake rates and utility

Project Number:

2017-221

Organisation:

Safe Sustainable Seafood Pty Ltd

Principal Investigator:

Mark Boulter

Project Status:

Completed

FRDC Expenditure:

$34,771.45

Program(s):

Adoption, Communities, Environment, People

Need

Following the work of the AAWWG the four aquatic sectors now have a range of findings that, when combined, produce a series of practical outcomes and materials for circulation and use within the various sectors. The take-up of these guidance materials now lies with the aquatic sectors to which they apply; commercial capture fishing, aquaculture, recreational fishing, ornamental fish and restaurants holding live seafood. There is a need to undertake a workshop (or a series of workshops) to determine how well these previously developed materials are being used by industry and identify the reasons why there is not adoption (if this is the case). The workshop(s) will then provide advice and guidance to FRDC as to whether there is a need for fund further work to ‘plug any gaps’ or modify any materials that have been found to be difficult to use/adopt, or whether there is a need to assess industry barriers to change.

Objectives

1. Through a series of workshops, to determine how well the implementation of the welfare guidelines developed in the earlier AAWS program (2005 - 2013) have been adopted, whether they are seen as fit for purpose / capable of being operationalised and identify any gaps that require future RD &/or E input.

2. For these gaps to seek funding opportunities to carry out this work.

Findings from the Aquatic Animal Welfare Workshop. Raising awareness of the guidelines developed by the AAWWG (Aquatic Animal Welfare Working Group) with industry and review their adoption, uptake rates and utility

Final Report
ISBN:978-0-6480476-0-5
ISSN:
Author(s):M. Boulter, M. Dodd and B. McCallum
Date Published:December 2018
During the 2017 FRDC Lead, Collaborate, Partner Stakeholder Workshop delegates identified a need to assess the success of the work undertaken by the Aquatic Animal Welfare Working Group (AAWWG) from 2005 – 2013 and to determine what research, development and extension activities were needed to progress this work to achieve greater adoption by industry. The AAWWG constituted representatives from the commercial wild capture fishing, recreational fishing, aquaculture and ornamental/aquarium sectors, and from animal welfare non-government organisations (NGOs).
To progress priorities identified at the 2017 stakeholder workshop, the FRDC commissioned a workshop on Aquatic Animal Welfare, held in Adelaide in September 2018. The invited participants were the delegates of the various seafood industry bodies, other seafood industry representatives and members of the previous AAWWG. This report outlines the findings from that workshop.
During the workshop an update on current domestic and international aquatic animal welfare issues were outlined by independent experts who had also been members of the AAWWG. Delegates then undertook a threat assessment process to identify industry’s current key areas of concern.
As part of the workshop process, a brainstorming session was carried out with delegates split into working groups based on aquatic animal interaction points within industry sectors, as outlined below;
• Aquaculture and Aquarium sectors – whole of life welfare
• Catching sector – transported live including the post-harvest sector
• Catching and Recreational sectors – transported dead
In this session they identified the key priorities for their sub-group, what they perceive is currently working well and where there is still room for improvement.
Throughout the workshop the working groups consistently identified a need to:
i. Communicate the importance of addressing/maintaining animal welfare to industry;
ii. Undertake greater/more effective extension of the available literature to industry (e.g. AAWWG documents); and
iii. Communicate the positive efforts to address/maintain animal welfare that are currently being made by industry.
The workshop participants firmly held the view that effective communications be practically based and underpinned by credible, ‘peer reviewed’ information from industry and scientists. The workshop attendees suggested this would be best achieved by the establishment of a ‘process’ similar to the previous AAWWG, that could ensure momentum is maintained on this topic, the appropriate Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) is carried out in a structured way and industry assessments are undertaken, guidelines developed/revised as required and then appropriately extended to industry to achieve maximum industry adoption.
This process should ensure suitably credible Aquatic Animal Welfare information, including what already exists from the previous AAWWG process, can be delivered through an effective, well-funded process for appropriate circulation and dissemination of relevant information to the relevant target audience, whether that be internally within the industry sectors or externally to the community and animal welfare E-NGOs.