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pigs faceIdentification of potential welfare indicators for commercially farmed King salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawyscha) in New Zealand: A scoping review to inform the development of a National Code of Welfare

Year: 2021

Izabella Norris
Massey University, New Zealand

Supervisor(s): Dr Nikki Kells


The production of King salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) is a major contributor to New Zealand’s primary industry and has the potential to impact the welfare of a large number of individual fish. To understand the impacts of farming practices on the welfare of farmed salmon there is a need to understand how to assess their welfare. The objective of this study was to identify measurements and observations that could be used as potential welfare indicators to evaluate the welfare of farmed King salmon in New Zealand. A scoping review was conducted to examine the current body of scientific literature related to the welfare of farmed salmon. An initial database search returned 5944 potentially relevant articles. Using specific inclusion criteria, returned articles were screened twice for relevance to the review’s objective. Welfare indicators were extracted from 60 relevant articles and categorised according to the Five Domains Model as well as their temporal character. The identified welfare indicators provide the tools required for the assessment of King salmon welfare. This work also provides the foundation for the development of a Code of Welfare for farmed fish in New Zealand. Future work needs to be done to determine indicator validity and on-farm feasibility.