MEET OUR CATCH WELFARE TEAM

Hans van de Vis

Hans is a senior researcher at the Department of Animal Health and Welfare, Wageningen Livestock Research, the Netherlands. He received his MSc in Biochemistry from Utrecht University, the Netherlands and a PhD in Agricultural Sciences at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. His fields of specialisation include stress and welfare of cultured and captured fish species. He has been participating in several R&D projects and networks and have published scientific papers and book chapters on fish welfare. He was a member of the EFSA working group for the assessment of welfare during farming of European eel and welfare at slaughter of European eel, sea bass and gilthead sea bream.

Michelle Boonstra

Michelle Boonstra is currently working as the project manager of the Catch Welfare Platform. She has expertise in fisheries, sustainability, and stakeholder engagement. In her former role at Good Fish Foundation (publisher of the seafood guide), she worked to accelerate the transition to a sustainable seafood sector by promoting market demand for sustainable seafood. Prior to this, she served as a Project Manager for Fisheries Research at Wageningen Marine Research, where she led several projects collaborating with fishermen to drive innovation, improve welfare, and data collection.

 Michelle holds a Master’s Degree in Marine Biology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology – Ecology & Biodiversity, both from the University of Amsterdam.

Mike Breen

Mike Breen has been a fisheries scientist since 1993, initially in the Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen, Scotland, then from 2012, in the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen, Norway.  In this time his research has focused mostly on investigating the causes, magnitude and implications of stress and mortality among animals encountering and being released from fishing gears.  Initially, much of his work centred on trying to quantify “collateral” or “unaccounted” fishing mortality (e.g. discard and escape mortality), with the objective of better understanding the impact of fishing activities on fished populations.  In the course of this work, Mike became more interested in why these mortalities occurred, as well as how to mitigate them, by understanding how these animals behaved and interacted with the fishing gear during the capture process.  A key feature of this work was developing and maintaining international cooperation in this research field, which he did as a member and chair of several expert groups in ICES and FAO.  Most recently, Mike has been working with colleagues to develop a strategy to introduce welfare conscious practices to commercial fisheries.  One important element of this strategy is providing empirical evidence for the link between capture related stressors and the survivability of released animals, as well as the impact upon meat quality in the retained catch.  This would demonstrate that good welfare practices in commercial capture fisheries is not just ethically sound, but has potential to make fisheries more sustainable (by reducing unwanted catches and collateral mortality) and profitable (by improving meat quality and product shelf-life). 

Neil Anders

Dr. Neil Anders is a researcher with the Fish Capture group at the Institute of Marine Research in Norway. He received both his MSc and PhD from the University of Bergen. His research to date has focused on various aspects of wild-capture fishing, including animal welfare. He has authored several scientific publications examining the behavioural, physiological, survival and product quality responses of fish to wild-capture stress. This work was conducted both in the laboratory and onboard fishing vessels. Earlier in his career, he worked onboard a variety of different commercial fishing vessels as a scientific observer.   

Ragnhild Aven Svalheim

Ragnhild her field of research is fisheries biology with specialization in how fisheries processes affect the physiology of fish and how this in turn change the quality of the fish muscle (food). She is currently working on how we can reverse negative effects of fisheries on fish quality by allowing fish to recuperate onboard fishing vessels. Her work consists of experimentally simulating the conditions that occur during harvesting in the commercial trawl fishery.

She has a bachelors degree in Environmental science from the University of Bergen with focus on multidisciplinary approach to anthropogenic environmental challenges and a Master of Science in Fisheries biology and management from the same university. In her thesis she wrote about skin morphology and scale loss in herring crowded in a purse seine and to what degree scale loss effect the mortality of herring slipped from a purse seine. She is currently finishing up her PhD at Nofima.

Bjørn Roth

Bjørn his work involves welfare and quality in connection with the slaughter of fish and shellfish for both the aquaculture industry and the fisheries industry. Electrical stunning has been the main focus area. This work has led to over 75 peer reviewed articles in scientific journals.

His education includes technical studies from the Norwegian Armed Forces, university studies in statistics and biology, and a PhD in biology from the University of Bergen. He has gained research experience from the University of Bergen, Norce and Nofima, the latter of which he has been employed at since 2007.

Themistoklis Altintzoglou

Themis is a researcher in the field of consumer research and have been working in Nofima since 2007. He focusses on consumer research and food product/concept development and perception. He is particularly interested in developing useful knowledge about factors that influence consumers’ perception of products/information and their actual food choice behaviour and combines a broad range of experimental (experiments, eye-tracking, facial expression recognition), quantitative (survey) and qualitative (focus groups, open ended questions) research methods. He has a PhD on consumer research in new product/concept development (Tromsø, Norway), an MSc focused on consumer and sensory science (Wageningen, the Netherlands) and a BSc specialized in human nutrition behaviour (Thessaloniki, Greece).

Endre Grimsbø

Endre holds the position of an associate professor at UiT The Arctic University of Norway at the Department of Automation and Process Engineering. He holds an MSc in Physics with a specialization in Industrial Instrumentation, as well as a PhD in Biology obtained from the University of Bergen. His doctoral research was interdisciplinary and concentrating on industrial animal welfare within automated slaughtering lines for Atlantic salmon.

His research focus is primarily revolving around welfare of aquatic animals, placing special emphasis on the utilization of electro stunning techniques and electrical parameters. Moreover, his extensive background encompasses various domains within technology such as measurement technique, hydroacoustic in fisheries, environmental advisory and sustainability.

Kathy Nguyen

Kathy Nguyen (MBA) is Partnership Coordinator at the Catch Welfare Platform. She is an experienced researcher and business consultant in the fields of international logistics and trade, market development and partnership. Her key interest in Catch Welfare Platform is to form and foster meaningful networks and partnerships towards a more sustainable supply chain within the global fishery sector.