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Waves of Impact: A Recap Of Ethical Seafood Research’s First Full Year in Operation

Our first full year was a busy one! Here are some of the highlights…

We brought on board our very first employee, Faisal Qureshi, who helped us considerably expand our operations in Kenya and the region!

As a first step in launching the Kenya fish welfare project, Faisal and our team visited several fish farms to understand some of the key animal welfare issues the farmers face. We then signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI). We received a research permit to carry out a large-scale farmer survey in partnership with Nautilus Collaboration!  We are also very close to securing charity status in the country. Many thanks for your hard work in making all this happen, Faisal!

Members of the ESR Team in Kenya alongside Nautilus Collaboration

Faisal also attended the 7th Africa Animal Welfare Conference in Kigali, Rwanda, organised by the Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and the African Union – Inter African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR). Our Founder, Wasseem Emam presented “Promoting Aquatic Animal Welfare: A Vital Perspective for Africa”. We advocated for fish welfare to be included in the conference resolutions – and they were!

We became the first organisation to talk about animal welfare in Egyptian aquaculture with our Tilapia Welfare Egypt workshops and seminars. We partnered with Ahmad Hamza at AQUAVET EGYPT and Radi Mohamed at Kafr El-Sheikh University to host workshops and seminars in Kafr El-Sheikh, Beheira, Port Said and Sharqia. Our Egyptian In-Country Expert Mohamed Bakr was a vital component of the events’ success, and many thanks to Mahmoud Eltholth for overseeing the project.

Discussing animal welfare in Egyptian aquaculture with our Tilapia Welfare Egypt workshops and seminars.

We joined forces with FAI to roll out their Tilapia Welfare App to farmers in Egypt. Check it out! We will be working closely in 2024 to further disseminate their tools in the country.

We sponsored the European Aquaculture Society‘s Ibrahim Okumus Award for the best student poster at #AquacultureEurope2023 in Vienna! Congratulations again to Kine Samset Hoem for winning the competition.

We worked with Jacob Prah, Valerie Monckton, and our consultant Helen Lambert at Animal Welfare Consultancy to prepare several scientific research articles that were submitted for publication. We contributed to fair-fish (english) & Fish Ethology and Welfare Group‘s White Paper on Fish Welfare and collaborated with One Welfare CIC on a review paper on animal abuse. We also wrote and contributed to several press articles for The Conversation UK and World Fishing & Aquaculture magazine. We’re always available to talk on issues related to sustainability and animal welfare in the aquatic foods sector!

We had a successful visit to Kigoma in Western Tanzania which led to collaboration with future business partners Third Man Ltd (Upendo Agri), Tanganyika Blue and SUSTAIN Aquaculture where we have together set up the first sustainable, ethical Tanganyika tilapia farm in the country. One of our main focuses was the creation of industry-leading standard operating procedures for the farm.

Our Research Fellow Abdulrahman Banisheyba helped us forge a partnership with the Zanzibar Fisheries and Marine Resources Research Institute, laying the foundation for the co-creation of an ethical and sustainable aquaculture strategy for the island. We look forward to signing an MoU with them early next year.

Members of the ESR team in Zanzibar.

We advocated for stronger aquatic animal protection policies as members of Our Seas Scotland, the Asia for Animals Coalition, the World Federation for Animals, and the Global Research Network Think Tank (GRN Animals & Biodiversity Think Tank Programme). We actively participated in the Animal Welfare Research Network and spoke out on important issues at many key fora such as Seafish‘s Fisheries Management and Innovation Group (FMIG), and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Animal Welfare (organized by Marisa Heath) at the House of Lords.

We had the pleasure of working with Oceana, MedSea Alliance (Global Fishing Watch) and the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF).

Other events we attended included Compassion in World Farming’s Extinction or Regeneration Conference in London, fair-fish (english) and Fish Ethology and Welfare Group’s 5th Fish Welfare Summer Shoal in the Algarve, Portugal, the Bermeo Tuna World Capital Forum in the north of Spain, EAG London and EAGxCambridge, the 12th International Conference on Current, Recent and Advanced Research on Agriculture, Food and Animal Production in Egypt and Aquaculture Africa 2023 in Zambia.

Attending the 5th Fish Welfare Summer Shoal in the Algarve, Portugal.

Thank you to Open Philanthropy, The Centre for Effective Altruism, and The Pollination Project Foundation for funding this important work!

We couldn’t have done it without Dr. Maureen L., Proscovia Alando at SAMAKY Hub, Melinda Jackson, Bevin Meyer, Isabel Fife-Cook, Shelly Steffler, Brieanah Schwartz at Pink Barn Creative, Shreya Padukone, Amber Ace, Madeleine Mung’ei, Rachael Adams, Melissa Samworth, Maggie Casas and Scott Robertson working with us to make 2023 a great inaugural year!

In 2024, we’re looking forward to building on the foundation of a successful project in Egypt with Bryant Research, finishing the farm survey in Kenya in collaboration with Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW) and using it to design tailored training programmes on animal welfare, releasing a joint concept note with the African Union – Inter African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), drafting the aquaculture strategy for Zanzibar with Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd, carrying out a scoping project on the conditions in which bluefin tuna are farmed and finalising our activity book on aquatic animals, spearheaded by Valerie Monckton.

We’ll also be co-creating course materials on fish welfare with Carolin Breitenbach and colleagues at the German NGO WTG e.V. | Welttierschutzgesellschaft (VETS UNITED) and co-authoring a Research Note with Alice Di Concetto at the The European Institute for Animal Law & Policy. We’ll also hopefully be releasing a report, authored by Melinda Jackson, on animal advocacy in Egypt in partnership with Animal Ask.