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Thousands Freed in San Francisco Bay

Written by PETA | October 5, 2011

Forty-thousand young salmon are swimming free in San Francisco Bay this week after someone cut the netting of their cramped holding pens.

© Robert Koopmans |

The salmon were being held in 25-foot-by-16-foot-by-8-foot pens, and with 20,000 to a pen, this means that there were more than six 10-inch fish per cubic foot. Fish kept in such crowded conditions often suffer from severe injuries, and in such filthy conditions they are also susceptible to parasites that can eat their faces down to the bone. On fish farms, as many as 40 percent of the fish die before they are even scheduled for slaughter.

Farming salmon—for commercial use or for enhanced angling opportunities—also depletes the ocean of other fish. It can take more than 5 pounds of ocean fish to produce just 1 pound of salmon.

Do fish a favor, and leave them in the water where they belong. Enjoy a day on a boat or hiking near a creek without hurting animals, and leave fish off your plate with delicious faux-seafood recipes.


Written by Heather Faraid Drennan

Commenting is closed.
  • chris says:

    Such an irresponsible article by PETA. This is an educational institution that was vandalized, the students that were raising these fish were scheduled to release them Oct 30. Portraying this research institute as nothing more than a fish farm is simply biased, inaccurate, and misleading undermining PETA’s reputation.

  • James says:

    An education campaign that encourages humane conditions for fish being raised to replenish salmon would have been consistent with the standards for public awareness of the need for ethical treatment of animals. The release of these fish 30 days before they were going to be released does not rise to that standard, and PETA should not endorse it. Endorsing it gives us a self-inflicted black eye, particularly because it was a school project. Please reconsider this position.

  • Coho buddy says:

    Please read the entire website of the Tiburon Salmon Institute (TSI), and look at the Gallery of Photos. Then, realize that in 3 days, the San Joaquin Delta Pumps killed 1.9 million salmon. Salmonids are barely hanging on in California and in danger of extinction. Though the TSI released fish were originally hatchery fish, they are from wild stock thus marked to return to their nascent Feather river to spawn. There is indication that the fish that reach adulthood are helping dwindling populations. Hatchery intervention has been going on in California for more than 60 years. The rage against salmonid abuse should be leveled at the States water and agricultural policies, Army Corps of Engineers and land use practices that destroy habitat and kill fish, not the projects of school children. If the act was committed for the purposes of releasing school raised fish because of “crowded conditions,” then perhaps one might consider raising funds to expand the project to provide larger pens. In any event, education around these issues is paramount.

  • Kim Keister says:

    This was nothing but vandalism, I can ONLY guess who vandalised this school project!!!! For shame and how very naughty of that person! You just caused a lot students to get a bad grade!!!

  • Ruben Santiago says:

    This is nothing more that pure vandalism. Plain and simple.

  • Davina says:

    Hell yes! I’m so glad some awesome person set them free… :0) But it’s so sad that there’s so many more out there that have to go through such unnecessary cruelty & torture… :0/

  • AJ says:

    The fish were going to be released anyway at the end of the month, and of the three pens, only the two that were raised/tended by the Casa Grande High School students were cut, the other was untouched. Sounds more like a grumpy student.

  • No no no says:

    I support PETA but you guys are wrong on this one! They were more than likely released by someone who wants those young fish to lure in big fish. In other words, a fisherman. These salmon WERE going to be released, and SHORTLY, as soon as they were old enough… Do not support what the vandal did! It was not something they were doing to be just.

  • Clayton says:

    I hope you all know this wasnt a fish FARM but a HATCHERY, were juvinile fish are raised to a point where they can be released in to the wild at a stage where they are able to survive. The idiots who vandalized this hatchery didnt realize these fish were set to be released by highschool students in 2 weeks as a project to help already dwindling numbers of salmon in california waters. Morons

  • Ann says:

    The linked article on this says the fish were going to be set free this month anyway. While I don’t approve of fish farming, that wasn’t the case here. This really does just look like an act of vandalism.

  • iiimusicfreak says:

    I love hearing about amazing selfless people doing kind acts for the innocent animals – even fish. Gives me another reason to smile:) I only hope others gain the courage and love towards helping others as well.

  • NB says:

    I am against salmon net-pen farming, and agree that the fish should be free-swimming, but releasing farmed fish like this is dangerous to the local environment. They can spread diseases to local salmon populations, out compete wild fish that are adapted to local environments, reduce the productivity of wild stocks, and pass on unfavorable genetic traits by interbreeding with wild stocks, making future generations less fit for life in the local habitat. These are just a few of the dangers of escaped (and in this case, released) farmed salmon.

  • Laura Bridgeman says:

    This is okay I guess.. but these fish were not destined to be eaten, they were to be released when they were of adequate size into the wild. This project was, from what I gathered from the Mercury News article, intended to educate children about salmon as well as to boost local populations. Now these juvenile fish are going to have to fend for themselves while they are still at a size which makes them succeptible to predation…

  • Carla* says:

    Awesome!! And to the hero for whom ever did this kind act for them!!

  • I love Peta says:

    Wonderful. Blessings for this one.