Farmed fish welfare: stress, post-mortem muscle metabolism, and stress-related meat quality changes

Document Type : Review


Department of Food Hygiene, Technology and Control, Veterinary Legislation and Management, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Trakia University, Student Campus, 6015, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria



Over the past few decades, a considerable scientific progress has been achieved in the area of fish welfare at all stages—farming, transportation, various pre-slaughter manipulations, stunning/killing procedures, etc. The increasing scientific interest is mainly due to the serious need of developing and implementing specific fish welfare requirements across the whole chain for both ethical (welfare) and commercial (meat quality) reasons. Since there has been substantial evidence that fish are able to experience pain and suffering, the provoked stress response could be a major cause of altered post-mortem metabolism and impaired meat quality. The present review was aimed to present the relationship between ante-mortem stress, course of post-mortem metabolic processes and the potential alterations in some quality traits of fish for human consumption.