We are happy to announce that we have just received funding support from Animal Charity Evaluators Movement Grants to embark on the Animal Welfare project– Aquaculture Welfare Research (AQWR). This project is the first phase of our intended comprehensive work to promote values and practices of Aquaculture Welfare in Nigeria. This Aquaculture Welfare Research aims to evaluate aquaculture welfare knowledge and practices among stakeholders in Nigeria so as to support, design, and foster the implementation of effective interventions.
Nigeria, with a population of over 200 million people, occupies the position of the second largest producer of fish after Egypt. This fact calls to question the welfare situation of these animals and how these conditions affect the final consumers and the environment. Information and data showing the current knowledge and willingness to adopt better welfare practices are very limited. For a country that has such a high farmed fish production and turnover rate, there is very low awareness and published reports on the welfare situation. Despite increasing global awareness of fish and aquatic welfare, there seem to be minimal activities of such within farmed fish stakeholders including fish farmers, researchers, government and civil society stakeholders. Therefore, there is a need for baseline studies and research to be conducted with the goal of developing effective fish welfare interventions that are targeted at the Nigerian fish value chain.
The goal of this project is to conduct a baseline study on the knowledge and practices of aquaculture welfare in Nigeria. In doing this, the project is set to achieve the following:
● To determine the current level of knowledge that Nigeria fish farmers and stakeholders have on aquaculture welfare
● To identify and evaluate current aquaculture welfare practices carried out by Nigeria fish farmers
● To identify the key gaps in aquaculture welfare and make recommendations for potential welfare interventions in the country
At the end of this project, we hope to produce a comprehensive and well-detailed report on the research topic with documentation of empirical facts, knowledge, and practices of aquaculture welfare in Nigeria. The result of this project will provide evidence-based information that will lead to the design and implementation of key effective interventions to improve aquaculture welfare in Nigeria.