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Factory-Farming Cruelty Hurts Fish Too

Written by PETA | January 31, 2011
US Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region/CC by 2.0

Two fish-farm managers have been charged with cruelty to animals after thousands of fish were found dead at a Scottish salmon farm. Authorities and the Scottish SPCA are investigating what appears to be a case of chemical poisoning. Unfortunately, cruelty is common on fish farms, and in the U.S., there are no regulations to ensure the humane treatment of fish.

To increase their bottom line, fish farmers cram as many fish as possible into extremely small enclosures. Injuries, parasitic infestations, and diseases are common. To keep the fish from dying in these horrible conditions, farmers lace their food with powerful chemicals and antibiotics, which people who eat the fish ingest in turn.

In fish-slaughter plants, fish are completely conscious while their gills are cut, and they are left to bleed to death, convulsing in pain. Large fish, such as salmon, are sometimes bashed on the head with a bat, and many are injured but still alive and suffering when they are cut open.

Fish are playful, social animals, much like kittens. Find out more about the hidden lives of sea kittens and how you can help keep them in the oceans and off people’s plates.

Written by Michelle Sherrow

Commenting is closed.
  • Lilamedusa says:

    So we should murder living animals just because they are not playful or smart or pretty and because they do not suffer while dying? ^o) And is a fish really more healthy than fruits like, say, a banana, a carrot or a mango? I’m sorry, but I think your point is not getting through.

  • greenfish2011 says:

    I am an MSc student studying Sustainable Aquaculture in Scotland.  I agree that if fish farm managers are responsible for gross negligence, they should be prosecuted.  However, this article blatantly misrepresents aquaculture as an industry, and much of the information quoted is just plain wrong.  

    For example, in developed countries, fish are NEVER conscious when their gills are cut: they are first struck with a pneumatic hammer, which kills them instantly and humanely.  

    While it’s true that medincines are occassionally added to feed to combat diseases, these medicines are effectively not present in the fish’s body prior to harvest, ensuring that nothing except clean fish protein enters the human food chain.  It’s not as if poisoned fish is ending up on our dinner tables, as this article would have us believe…  

    Many fish farms around the globe are now adhering to voluntary certification standards, such as those published and endorsed by the World Wildlife Fund, to ensure the welfare of their fish.  

    And when the article describes fish as ‘playful, social animals, much like kittens’… I have studied fish for 10 years and have never once seen evidence of such a ridiculous and misleading claim!  

    While I will not argue that fish farming still has its challenges, given the global demand for fish protein, coupled with the collapse of wild fish stocks, aquaculture is a necessary industry that provides food security to millions of people worldwide.