Ethical Seafood Research offers a range of research-oriented services in the field of fisheries and aquaculture.
Project design, execution and management
We help you formulate your idea, design a suitable methodology to carry it out and work with you to see the project through to completion. For the last decade, we have been successfully helping clients at whatever stage of the project journey they are. Our success has been closely tied to our ability to draw upon a wide network of collaborators to provide subject matter expertise where it is needed.
Where assessment protocols for the species in question already exist, we can visit an aquatic animal production facility and assess the welfare status of current farming practices. In the absence of existing protocols, we can use the latest science to estimate the likelihood of current practices causing stress to the animals in production. There is far fewer research on the welfare of farmed aquatic animals than land animals so projects in this area are inherently innovative and pioneering.
In conjunction with farm-based welfare assessments, using the latest and best current knowledge, we can lay the foundation for the development of a welfare standard for most farmed aquatic animal species. We also work with certifiers to improve the animal welfare aspects of their current standards. As with welfare assessments, welfare standards are lacking for most farmed aquatic animals.
We can help you prepare internal reports to inform your organisation’s strategic direction or published reports that can be used for campaigning and lobbying efforts. This can include research to identify high-impact interventions to improve the welfare of farmed or wild-caught aquatic animals. Where relevant, we are able to secure ethical approval of our work from a relevant Ethics Review Board. We specialise in overview studies, e.g., mapping the current status of organic aquaculture in Europe.
Interviews and focus groups
We have successfully used both individual interviews and larger focus groups to collect invaluable data on consumer attitude, behaviour and perceptions regarding various seafood products. This is typically carried out in conjunction with market research organisations active on the ground. Our interview expertise has been honed in the context of developing countries where challenges abound.
Peer-reviewed publications and professional presentations
In addition to writing scientific articles and getting them published in top academic journals, we can also help you prepare or present on your behalf the findings of any work at aquatic-related conferences or other relevant fora. We have a track record of high-level outputs in both scientific journals and grey literature, and are therefore familiar with numerous writing style guides.
Value chain or supply chain analysis
We can carry out a detailed mapping of each step of the production chain of a given fishery or aquaculture-derived product to see where most of the value is stored and identify opportunities for further added-value processing (e.g., increasing opportunities for in-country processing of seaweed that is farmed in Zanzibar instead of shipping the raw product for a much lower price).
Policy analysis & recommendations
Together with our partners that have extensive legal and policy experience, we can summarise the state-of-the-art knowledge on law and policy as they relate to aquatic animals and provide appropriate policy recommendations. Our Founder draws on his experience working on fisheries & aquaculture policy with the United Nations, the European Parliament, and both the Canadian and UK governments.
Quantitative and qualitative surveys
We are experienced in carrying out both in-field and online surveys to gauge stakeholders on relevant topics around the production and consumption of aquatic animal products. For example, carrying out a survey of farm management practices to identify potential causes of poor performance or mass mortalities. We are specialised in surveys in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and North America.
Proposals & grant-writing
We can work with you to build a solid proposal for funding a project related to advancing aquatic animal protection or advocating for aquatic animals more generally. We have successfully won a number of large grants in the past through which we have built in-house expertise upon which to draw.
Working with our partners, we can carry out experimental studies in the lab or in the field. For example, we have previously carried out lab-based assessments of fish behaviour in order to inform recommendations for interventions to improve the welfare of farmed fishes. We are also part-investors in a number of fish farms where we can run trials and experiment with different systems.
Critical analysis or thought pieces
We offer critical reviews and analyses on key topics related to sustainable and humanely-produced aquatic food both in the style of academia or industry. These can be informal as in the case of a news piece or a blog, or they can be written in a manner suitable for publication in a scientific journal.
Drawing upon the eight or so languages spoken fluently by our team, we are also able to translate most technical documents for our clients. This is an additional service offered given the numerous requests we have received over the years to translate technical documents on fisheries and aquaculture related topics into Arabic. We work with partners to translate languages we don't speak.