Fish protection during fish production. Organizational conditions for fish welfare
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionMarine Policy. 2021, 129 . 10.1016/j.marpol.2021.104530
Too many salmon die during production at Norwegian fish farms. Earlier research shows that most farmed salmon die in operations partly related to protection of the wild salmon (from salmon lice), but it is not known how this relates to other conditions positive or negative for fish welfare. Fish farm personnel are experts on the organizational conditions during production. This is thus a study of what fish farm personnel consider contributing to fish welfare. Data are gathered through interviews, observation, and a small-scale survey. The results suggest that the personnel stand in a multiple protection dilemma, where fish welfare loses in a battle with objectives of profitable production, and protection of wild salmon. In this context of conditions emphasizing other objectives, the personnel act as a buffer for farmed fish welfare. In particular, the study indicates that fish health personnel perceive themselves and are perceived as advocates for fish welfare. This important role, and the multiple protection dilemma that comes from the conflict between product and environment, are not earlier described in organizational literature. Multiple protection dilemmas can be relevant for all production in open environment, so personnel and organizations should be structured to reduce and handle it.