Impacts of Human-Induced Pollution on Wild Fish Welfare

  • Kathryn HassellEmail author
  • Luke Barrett
  • Tim Dempster
Part of the Animal Welfare book series (AWNS, volume 20)


The natural environment has been altered by anthropogenic actions for several centuries. For example, land clearing, water diversion and abstraction for agriculture have changed aquatic ecosystems, as have inputs from various diffuse and point-source pollution sources. The alteration of natural waterbodies leads to water quality and habitat changes that ultimately impact the welfare of resident fishes and may compromise their existence. In this chapter, we review different classes of pollutants and provide key examples of impacts observed in wild fish populations from freshwater and marine environments worldwide. This includes case studies on major pollution events and key pollution sources. Impacts ranging from direct toxicity and physiological perturbations to behavioural changes and alterations in species compositions have all been documented, highlighting the need for on-going management of anthropogenic inputs to aquatic environments.


Anthropogenic pollution Health Oxidative stress Sublethal stress 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Aquatic Pollution Identification and Management (CAPIM), School of BioSciencesUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Aquatic Environmental Stress (AQUEST) Research Group, School of ScienceRMIT UniversityBundooraAustralia
  3. 3.Sustainable Aquaculture Laboratory – Tropical and Temperate (SALTT), School of BioSciencesUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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