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Fish intelligence, sentience and ethics

Overview of attention for article published in Animal Cognition, June 2014
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#7 of 984)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (93rd percentile)

Mentioned by

news
27 news outlets
blogs
9 blogs
twitter
199 tweeters
facebook
35 Facebook pages
wikipedia
2 Wikipedia pages
googleplus
4 Google+ users
reddit
1 Redditor
video
2 video uploaders

Citations

dimensions_citation
77 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
371 Mendeley
citeulike
1 CiteULike
Title
Fish intelligence, sentience and ethics
Published in
Animal Cognition, June 2014
DOI 10.1007/s10071-014-0761-0
Pubmed ID
Authors

Culum Brown

Abstract

Fish are one of the most highly utilised vertebrate taxa by humans; they are harvested from wild stocks as part of global fishing industries, grown under intensive aquaculture conditions, are the most common pet and are widely used for scientific research. But fish are seldom afforded the same level of compassion or welfare as warm-blooded vertebrates. Part of the problem is the large gap between people's perception of fish intelligence and the scientific reality. This is an important issue because public perception guides government policy. The perception of an animal's intelligence often drives our decision whether or not to include them in our moral circle. From a welfare perspective, most researchers would suggest that if an animal is sentient, then it can most likely suffer and should therefore be offered some form of formal protection. There has been a debate about fish welfare for decades which centres on the question of whether they are sentient or conscious. The implications for affording the same level of protection to fish as other vertebrates are great, not least because of fishing-related industries. Here, I review the current state of knowledge of fish cognition starting with their sensory perception and moving on to cognition. The review reveals that fish perception and cognitive abilities often match or exceed other vertebrates. A review of the evidence for pain perception strongly suggests that fish experience pain in a manner similar to the rest of the vertebrates. Although scientists cannot provide a definitive answer on the level of consciousness for any non-human vertebrate, the extensive evidence of fish behavioural and cognitive sophistication and pain perception suggests that best practice would be to lend fish the same level of protection as any other vertebrate.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 199 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 371 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Brazil 5 1%
United States 4 1%
United Kingdom 4 1%
Switzerland 3 <1%
Portugal 2 <1%
Germany 2 <1%
Austria 1 <1%
Czechia 1 <1%
Greece 1 <1%
Other 7 2%
Unknown 341 92%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 75 20%
Student > Bachelor 69 19%
Student > Master 63 17%
Researcher 57 15%
Student > Postgraduate 22 6%
Other 85 23%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 201 54%
Environmental Science 33 9%
Unspecified 30 8%
Psychology 17 5%
Veterinary Science and Veterinary Medicine 15 4%
Other 75 20%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 454. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 05 August 2019.
All research outputs
#19,511
of 13,376,849 outputs
Outputs from Animal Cognition
#7
of 984 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#255
of 188,312 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Animal Cognition
#1
of 15 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,376,849 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 984 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 24.4. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 188,312 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 15 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 93% of its contemporaries.