Do fish feel pain and why does it matter?

Monday 7 November 2016 | 6.00 - 7.30PM

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Law School LT104 | Level 1, Law School Annex | Eastern Ave | University of Sydney


Make time to appreciate how fish perceive and experience their world.

Co-presented with the Human Animal Research Network and Sydney Ideas

Fish, with their lack of facial expressions or recognisable communication, are often overlooked when it comes to welfare. Annually, millions of fish are caught on barbed hooks, or left to die by suffocation on the decks of fishing boats – should we be concerned about this?

Victoria Braithwaite explores the question of fish pain and suffering, and explains what we now understand about fish neurobiology and behavior that helps us appreciate how fish perceive and experience their world. Her work has helped her to interact and work with both fishing related industries and with the angling world to discuss and debate the implications of the scientific evidence. She argues that the science indicates fish should be offered similar kinds of protection currently given to birds and mammals.

Professor Victoria Braithwaite obtained her D.Phil. in animal behavior from the University of Oxford, UK. She was a member of faculty at Edinburgh University UK for 12 years before becoming Professor of Fisheries and Biology at Penn State University, USA where she is currently the Co-Director of the Center for Brain, Behavior and Cognition. In 2010, she published a popular science book Do Fish Feel Pain? She has received several awards for her research and science writing and has been awarded Fellowships by the Linnean Society, the Royal Institute of Navigation, the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin, Germany.