This year, Compassion in World Farming exposed the scale of global fish farming in a new research paper. Their findings revealed that since 1990, farmed fish numbers killed annually for food have increased ninefold, to a staggering 124 billion fish per year.
The majority of farmed fish (70–72%) have no legal welfare protection, and less than 1% have any fish-specific legal protection at slaughter, meaning that most farmed fish undergo inhumane slaughter practices and excessive suffering.
This has to change. This year, the European Commission has the power to dramatically improve the lives of farmed fish with its revised animal welfare legislation. Until now, fish-specific laws have been glaringly absent. It’s time to leave no animal behind, and bring fish-specific protections in line with current evidence of fishes’ needs and natures.
Poor practices in aquaculture are not an isolated occurrence. Footage captured on farms in Greece, Italy, Spain and the UK share a common thread of negligence. Read on.
Essere Animali: Italian and Spanish rainbow trout, sea bass and sea bream farms
In 2022, Essere Animali conducted investigations at several trout, sea bass and sea bream farms. What they documented is shocking: fish crammed into barren, concrete tanks; moved at high speed using pumps and often left out of water for several minutes.