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Research Methodology

To achieve the objectives, research methodology of this project will involve the following:

– documentation upon the methodology for assessing fish welfare at European and global level;

– Field studies in order to establish both elements for construction and settlement of fisheries and the rearing conditions or the transportation and slaughter conditions;

– Studying the behavior of fish in farms, during transport and in slaughter units, for highlight the behavior changes useful in determining the level of welfare;

– Sampling and laboratory determinations from the samples harvested in order to establish the portfolio of analysis necessary for checking the specific fish welfare indicators in fish farms, during transport and slaughter.

The advantages of the research team for the present project are represented by more than 18 years involvement in teoretical and practical teaching activities in the field of hygiene, environmental protection, animal welfare and protection.

In the first, note that both the project director, and team members have coordinated and conducted research work on assessment of animal welfare and proposed to introduce and formalize at national scale an integrative numerical system of assessment.

Three members of the research team, respectively the project manager and two experienced researchers are working in the disciplines of Animal protection and welfare and Animal hygiene and environmental protection – Department of Animal Production and Public Health, with extensive experience in animal welfare and in assessing the level and the influence of environmental natural factors: air, soil and water.

Young researchers in the structure of the research team showed great interest for animal welfare, as demonstrated both by their publishing work, and that almost complete their PhD thesis with the topic of the welfare of livestock.

DVM PhD Elena Mitranescu, project manager, is a recognized researcher in the field of Animal hygiene and environmental protection and Animal welfare and protection. She will participate in these activities of the project: documentation, traveling the country for documentation and results dissemination, research and documentation stages abroad, computer equipment purchase, sampling and analysis useful for determining the level of fish welfare, conducting fish welfare audits in farms, in transport and slaughter, supervisory audits for the mentioned units and transport means, will be involved in organizing trainings with physicians in the territory, with processors and transporters (to disseminate the project results), will participate in laboratory tests to determine the specific indicators of fish welfare, will be an important decision factor in determining the requirements for approval of fisheries, fish slaughter units and means of transport in terms of welfare, to establish licensing and auditing requirements and in determining the final proposal of fish assessment methodologies.

Professor Teusdea Valer DVM PhD is a prominent member of the research team, with prodigious activity in Animal hygiene and environmental protection, Animal welfare and protection, thus giving it nationally and internationally visibility. His participation in the project will include the following activities: documentation, traveling the country for documentation and results dissemination, computer equipment purchase, sampling and analysis useful for determining the level of fish welfare, conducting fish welfare audits in fisheries, during transport and slaughter, surveillance audits in the mentioned units and transport means, organization of trainings with physicians in the territory, with processors and transporters (in order of project results dissemination). He will be an important decision factor in determining the requirements for approval of fish farms and slaughter units and the means of fish transport in terms of welfare, to establish licensing and auditing requirements and establish the final proposal of fish welfare assessment methodologies.

Lecturer PhD Dana Tapaloaga, an experienced researcher in the field of animal rearing and production systems, will participate in: documentation, conducting welfare audits in the fisheries, organizing trainings with physicians in the territory, with processors and transporters (in order to disseminate project results). She will also participate in establishing licensing requirements for fisheries and fish slaughter units and means of transport in terms of welfare, the establishment of licensing and auditing requirements and establishing the final proposal of fish welfare assessment methodologies.

Assistant Furnaris Florin DVM PhD is a researcher with expertise in farm animal welfare assessment, the experience being gained from numerous infield evaluations, the participation in various conferences and meetings of growers and specialists in this field, but also from achievement of his doctoral thesis in this field. Participation in the project will include the following activities: documentation, traveling the country for documentation and results dissemination, documentation and research stages abroad, computer equipment purchase, sampling and analysis useful for determining the level of fish welfare, conducting welfare audits in fisheries, during transport and in slaughter units, conducting surveillance audits for the mentioned units and for transport means. He will participate in organizing trainings with physicians in the territory, with processors and transporters, to perform the laboratory assays to determine the specific fish welfare indicators, to establish requirements for approval of fish farms and means of transport in terms of welfare, to establish the licensing and auditing requirements and the final proposal of fish welfare assessment methodologies.

Lecturer Violeta Simion PhD. student is a young researcher with special skills in the laboratory field. Participation in the project will include the following activities: documentation, traveling the country for documentation and results dissemination, conducting laboratory tests to determine specific fish welfare indicators, participation in the establishment of licensing requirements of fish farms, slaughter units and means of transport in terms of welfare, to establish the licensing and auditing requirements and the final proposal of fish welfare assessment methodologies.

Researcher Cristian Togan PhD student has substantial experience concerning the inspection and control activities. Participation in the project will include the following activities: documentation, traveling the country for documentation and results dissemination, conducting fish welfare audits in fish farms, during transport and in slaughter units, surveillance audits for the mentioned units and for the transport means, participation in setting requirements for approval of fish farms and fish slaughter units and of transport means in terms of welfare,  establish the licensing and auditing requirements and the final proposal of fish welfare assessment methodologies.

Research methods used in this project include: infield studies and audits, laboratory tests, experimental methods, statistical-mathematical methods for results processing.

Infield trials will follow to establish general health, but also the influence of the natural environmental factors (water, air) and the management conditions in the fisheries, slaughter units and transport vehicles. For this purpose, there will be used both devices currently available to the research team (PAP 3 portable water sampler – for samples harvesting, SL 4012 sonometer, LX 1102 lightmeter, OPT-02 oxygen meter and LM 8010 multifunction device – for establishing the influence of environment factors upon fish welfare: the level of vibrations, the light level, draughts, oxygen concentration in water, air and water temperature etc), and the newly acquired devices (water samplers SP 100 and SP 200). Samples will be analyzed in the laboratory, in order to check the welfare level established in the field, there will also being determined ethograma, using video equipment to be purchased.

To conduct laboratory experiments there will be used the last generation equipment requested from project funds. Thus, there will be used Nova 400 spectophotometer for analysis of physical, chemical, bacteriological and biological characteristics of water samples collected in the field and Reflotron Plus haematological analyzer for determination of haematological parameters useful in determining the global level of fish welfare.

The results interpretation will be achieved by statistical-mathematical methods, using both computing infrastructure owned by team members, and the newly acquired from the project funds.