Determination of position
The Albert Schweitzer Foundation (ASF) sponsors scientific research on the topic of “animal welfare in aquaculture”.
A statement on animal welfare in trout farming is issued in cooperation with the Marine Aquaculture Association (GMA, Gesellschaft für Marine Aquakultur) and the coordination unit of the Competence Network Aquaculture.
Fish farm visits
Kaufland (a major German hypermarket chain) and ASF visit the trout farm Zordel in Eyach river valley which marks the kick-off for discussions with fishery science and aquaculture experts.
Advanced training concept
ASF funds the development of an advanced training concept on animal welfare in aquaculture.
Fair Fish Conference in Zurich
Representatives from aquaculture, food retailing, certification bodies and NGOs discuss opportunities for leveraging animal welfare.
The Freshwater Fishery and Fish Farming Association of Schleswig-Holstein and scientists of the Thünen Institute of Fisheries Ecology join the consultations. The scientific network of the project expands continously.
ASF initiates an intersectoral process to come to an agreement on international animal welfare standards in aquaculture. The project title is “Setting welfare standards in aquaculture”.
Scientists of the Christian Albrechts University of Kiel (CAU) and the Marine Aquaculture Association (GMA) conduct a continuous literature research on aquaculture related topics.
Fishing industry summit
Value chain representatives discuss the topic “animal welfare in aquaculture” on the occasion of the fishing industry summit 2017.
The project is presented at the annual congress of the Freshwater Fishery and Fish Farming Association in Schleswig-Holstein, followed by an ongoing series of expert lectures.
Kaufland intensifies the cooperation with the project team and contributes to funding scientific studies.
Lecture at the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology (TU Bergakademie Freiberg)
As part of a lecture series at the Freiberg University the project team gives a lecture on sustainability and animal welfare in aquaculture.
Consumer study I
A team of business psychologists and scientists of the University of Bonn initiates studies based on depth psychology relating to consumer perception of animal welfare topics in aquaculture.
In a first workshop, fish farmers, veterinarians, animal rights activists and scientists work with the project leader to identify the basics for animal welfare standards in aquaculture to be established for the entire industry. Further workshops follow.
Lecture at the Thünen Institute
The project is presented at the event “Current issues relating to animal welfare and protection” organized by the Thünen Institute of Fisheries Ecology.
1st Summer Shoal
The congress “Summer Shoal on Fish Ethology and Welfare” organized by Fair Fish gives the project team the opportunity for further international networking.
In cooperation with GMA (Marine Aquaculture Association) the project team sponsors a Master’s Thesis at CAU (University of Kiel) on the topic “Concept for evaluation of animal welfare measures in rainbow trout (oncorhynchus mykiss) farming”.
The REWE Group (another major German hypermarket chain) joins the consultations.
Presentation of the pilot study
The project’s qualitative psychological pilot study under the title “Fish, fish production and animal welfare” dealing with fish production related issues and criteria from a consumer perspective is presented on basis of in-depth interviews and group discussions.
SCOPE Aquaculture Workshop
On the occasion of the “Fish International 2018” convention the project team organizes a workshop on “animal welfare in aquaculture” with lectures by international experts on basis of scientific evidence and practical experience.
Translation of guidance document
The project team initiates the translation of the “Guidance on Animal Welfare Indicators in Aquaculture” from German to English to make it available on an international level. It was issued by VDFF, the Association of German Fishery Officers and Scientists. Further translations will follow.
Lidl, another major German hypermarket chain, joins the consultations.
The German food journal LZ (Lebensmittelzeitung) reports on the project team’s initiative to bring industry representatives together to delelop a global meta-standard for animal welfare in aquaculture.
The northern and southern divisions of the German hypermarket chain Aldi join the consultations.
Presentation at the German Association of Freshwater Fishery and Aquaculture (VDBA)
Kaufland and the project leader present the project objectives at the annual meeting of the German Association of Freshwater Fishery and Aquaculture.
Terms of reference
Industry representatives are invited as founding members of the “Aquaculture Welfare Standards Initiative”. Letters of intent, non-disclosure agreements and an antitrust statement are signed.
2nd Summer Shoal
The second congress “Summer Shoal on Fish Ethology and Welfare” organized by Fair-Fish International and research team of FishEthoBase takes place in Italy.
Founding of AWSI
AWSI, the “Aquaculture Welfare Standards Initiave”, is founded. The founding members include the food retail chains Kaufland, REWE, Lidl, Lidl Foundation, Aldi Nord (north), Aldi Süd (south), Edeka Südwest (southwest), as well as the convention center Messe Bremen, the certification bodies Global G.A.P. and ASC, the trout farms Zordel and Heidefisch, the plant engineering company Sander, board members of VDFF and VDBA and scientists of GMA (Marine Aquaculture Association), CAU (Christian Albrechts University of Kiel), LfL (Bavarian state office for agriculture), Thünen Institute and IGB (Leibnitz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries). AWSI’s work will focus on the main issues water quality, feeding, handling, transport and fish stunning and slaughter.
The results of AWSI’s first depth psychological consumer study are being shared with AWSI members in an online presentation.
In an online meeting AWSI members agree on initating a second consumer study. It is also agreed that AWSI will present its work to the expert community at the congress “Aquaculture Europe 2019” and at the convention “fish international 2020”.
Consumer study II
A second depth psychological study commissioned by AWSI begins in Hamburg. Behind the scenes, representatives from food retail, research and certification follow the survey of consumers. Further surveys as well as individual interviews are carried out in Cologne and Stuttgart.
The impact analysis of the 2nd consumer study on animal welfare in aquaculture is finalized.
In cooperation with BVLH (the German Federal Food Trade Association), AWSI is introduced to potential new members from the food retail and production sector.
AWSI members discuss the results of the second consumer study, website content and planned events.
The European Aquaculture Society organizes a convention and congress in Berlin spanning several days under the title “Our Future – GROWING from WATER”. AWSI has a booth and gives lectures. The Aquaculture Welfare Standards Initiative is represented internationally under both acronyms: ITA-AWSI.
AWSI annual meeting
The trout farm Zordel in the Black Forest, Germany, is the venue of AWSI’s annual meeting. The team finalizes their AWSI recommendations for animal welfare compliant trout and carp stunning and slaughter. They will be disseminated internationally in on-site workshops in the following year.
Sustainability and animal welfare in fish production are the keynote at the fish international convention held at the Bremen convention center from 9 to 11 February 2020. AWSI presents its work in workshop titled “Animal welfare aspects in the production process”.
Covid-19 is spreading
The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated contact restrictions derail all AWSI plans for workshops on international aquaculture farms for a longer period of time.
AWSI head office
AWSI opens a new pandemic-proof office in the old fish market hall in Kiel’s “Center for Maritime Technology and Seafish Market”.
Animal welfare monitoring
AWSI contributes to the expert discussions in an online meeting of the “NaTiMon” (National Aquatic Animal Welfare Monitoring) project team, sponsored by BMEL (German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture). It becomes apparent that the approaches of the industry initiative and the research project complement each other optimally.
The International Society of Livestock Husbandry (IGN) publishes the brochure “Fish welfare in aquaculture – problems and approaches”. AWSI contributed an article.
Aquaculture Round Table
The German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture invites AWSI to present its project work on the occasion of the Aquaculure Round Table.
The German Federal Food Trade Association hosts an online workshop under the title “Establishing animal welfare standards in aquaculture – current status and outlook”. The AWSI members ASC and Global G.A.P. present their concepts and AWSI presents the commom project goals. The discussion is moderated by BMV (Federal Market Association of the Fish Industry).
AWSI recruits additional members from retail, science, fish farms and certifiers.
AWSI annual meeting
AWSI members adopt their basic recommendations on the 5 key topics of animal welfare in aquaculture. Due to the pandemic the annual meeting does not take place on a fish farm this time, but is held as an online meeting.
Covid-19 change of course
The ongoing pandemic makes the planned implementation of the AWSI advanced training concept impossible until further notice.
Alternatively, the basic recommendations will now be conveyed in interactive VR learning modules. The company 4DimBLICK GmbH is commissioned with the development.
AWSI basic recommendations
ASWSI’s basic recommendations are released in expert circles and their translation into other languages is initiated.
VR training software
The Kiel based start-up 4DimBLICK GmbH develops a concept for AWSI to make animal welfare in aquaculture trainable interactively and immersively via VR modules. The server supported software allows contact-free decentralized seminars worldwide.
VR learning module I
In close cooperation with the AWSI member “Fischzucht Knutzen” (Knutzen’s fish farm), 4DimBLICK GmbH creates the first VR training module for the animal welfare-friendly slaughter of trout.
AWSI facing fish welfare
After a long Corona break, AWSI members meet again in person at (and on) the Kiel Fjord. The members test the software “ITA facing fish welfare” and see for themselves how VR-based learning content can contribute to an improvement of animal welfare in aquaculture in the future.
VR learning module II
The annual fishing of carp at Knutzen’s fish farm is documented with VR 3D cameras.
AWSI’s second VR training module for animal welfare-friendly stunning and slaughtering of carp passes the practical test.