Stevens, C. 2019. Refining handling for small laboratory fishes. Animal Technology and Welfare 18(3), 191-193.
Fishes in captivity, such as those used in laboratory research, may experience handling on a regular basis. In the laboratory, handling is usually done with dip-nets, and involves pursuit, confinement and capture and removal of the fish from the water, causing potentially damaging severe or repetitive stress. Refining the way that fish are handled may therefore help to reduce the stress that the fish experiences which in turn can help to improve fish health and welfare. Some studies have started to examine the effects of handling fish using standard dip-nets or using methods which keep fish submerged in water when handled, with somewhat mixed results. Although there are currently few studies on refining fish handling, the results of these studies suggest that improving handling methods can be beneficial for captive fish.