This research programme has provided convincing evidence that fish
perceive pain and has been instrumental in directly informing changes to
experimental protocols and influencing welfare guidelines.
We use fish in a variety of ways — for food, farming, experimentation, as
public exhibits, in recreational angling and as pets. Many of the
procedures that fish are subjected to cause tissue damage that would give
rise to the sensation of pain in mammals. This research programme uses
techniques in neurobiology, physiology and animal behaviour to discover
how the fish are affected by these procedures. This has not only improved
the welfare of fish, but also influenced how the public views these
animals through media dissemination.
Disease severely limits the expansion of aquaculture. Studies on the
immune control of infection have led, in association with industry, to the
promotion of disease control utilising 03b2-glucan feed supplements.
Knowledge has, via Keele
Water, informed infection control strategies used by UK fish
farmers. Studies have provided a legacy of young scientists trained by
industry and supported by European funding. Advances made have been
embraced in the education of veterinarians in Germany and fish production
in Eastern Europe. Close collaboration with government bodies and learned
societies has ensured that the work has been recognised by policy makers
within the fisheries sector.