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Joint Announcement: Ethical Seafood Research & AU-IBAR Launch Factsheet on Aquatic Animal Welfare in Africa

The Inter African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and Ethical Seafood Research (ESR) are happy to announce a joint fact-sheet regarding the welfare of aquatic animals.

The overarching goal of this factsheet is to underscore the importance of aquatic animal welfare in Africa and raise awareness about the imperative to preserve it.

Drawing insights from key AU-IBAR guiding documents on aquatic animals, including the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy and the Animal Welfare Strategy, this factsheet encompasses all facets of aquatic animal welfare in Africa, with a primary focus on capture fisheries and aquaculture. Both institutions acknowledge the significant welfare challenges facing aquatic animals involved in the ‘ornamental’ trade.

In order to truly meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is important to improve how we treat the aquatic animals affected by human activities.

Key takeaways:

  1. Ecosystem Health: Aquatic animals play essential roles as prey and predators, maintaining food webs, nutrient cycling, and ecosystem stability.
  2. Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture: Limit overfishing, promote the handling of animals with care, minimise the capture of non-target animals and incentivise the use of selective and appropriate fishing gear.
  3. Conservation: Focus on protection of critical habitats, implementation of sustainable fishing practices and combatting illegal wildlife trade.
  4. Aquatic Animal Health and Welfare Standards: Develop and implement comprehensive standards and regulations that cover the health and welfare needs of this unique group of animals.
  5. Economic Benefits: Health and welfare of aquatic animals leads to less mass mortality events, can attract conscientious consumers, and create eco-tourism opportunities.
  6. Education and Awareness: Inspire positive change and encourage sustainable resource use.
  7. International Cooperation: Sharing knowledge, best practices and resources can help build capacity, develop ambitious regulations, and improve aquatic animal health and welfare standards across the continent.



The African Union-InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources is a specialized technical office of the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment (DARBE) under the auspices of the African Union Commission. It plays a crucial role in promoting the sustainable development of animal resources across the African continent through policy development, research, and capacity building initiatives. With reference to the fisheries and aquaculture sector, AU-IBAR supports sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in Africa through policy assistance and capacity building while addressing animal health and welfare concerns to safeguard aquatic ecosystems.


Ethical Seafood Research provides comprehensive research services tailored to fisheries, aquaculture, marine conservation, and aquatic animal welfare, aiding in the development of sustainable practices and policies. By integrating scientific expertise with ethical considerations, ESR endeavours to address the complex challenges facing the seafood industry while promoting environmental stewardship and aquatic animal welfare.

For inquiries or collaboration opportunities, please contact us:

African Union – Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources
Email: [email protected]

Ethical Seafood Research
Email: [email protected]