Wednesday, April 20, 2016

20/04/2016: New sport created to keep young salmon from getting bored

North farm salmon farmer Loch Duart has introduced ball games for its fish in an attempt to stop them biting each other, Keith Findlay writes in the Press and Journal.

Loch Duart – based at Scourie in Sutherland – claims the move, along with other measures to keep juvenile fish occupied, is a major breakthrough for animal welfare.

Young salmon in hatcheries have been observed nipping the fins of other fish and, uncontrolled, the damage can have a long-term effect on the health and quality of the stock.

A spokeswoman for Loch Duart, which employs around 100 people at sites in Sutherland and the Hebrides, said: “It is widely accepted that fin damage is an indicator of poor fish welfare but, until now, no new strategies which address the problem have emerged.

“We know that most fin damage in freshwater salmon, and especially dorsal fin damage, is due to fish biting each other. Overcrowding is another cause.

“Initially the assumption was that the biting was simple aggression but, looking more closely at the behaviour, it is clear it is different to other aggressive interactions between the young fish."
Unfortunately the team coach was too busy for interview (Image: Hamed Saber)
Read the full article in the Press and Journal HERE

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