Compassion in World Farming recently sent undercover investigators to fish farms across Europe. We discovered fish like sea bass, sea bream and trout being kept in appalling conditions.
Confined to concrete tanks on land or in floating ocean nets by the thousands, these fish spend their short, miserable lives swimming in cramped waters where disease and parasites can thrive. Dead fish were found floating in tanks as live ones swam around them.
Equally shocking is the cruel way fish are killed. Sea bass and sea bream are commonly dumped into large buckets of ice slurry, where they thrash about, fighting for their lives, as ice gets lodged in their gills and they struggle to breathe. They can remain conscious throughout this ordeal, and many are still alive when they are packaged for sale.
Our team also witnessed trout flailing about in pools of bloody water after having their throats cut, a clear sign that the stunning system wasn’t working properly. This kind of suffering is illegal according to European law, which mandates animals should not suffer unnecessarily while being killed.
Not all European countries farm sea bass, sea bream and trout, but these fish are found on supermarket shelves across the continent. There are producers, like some in the UK and Netherlands, who are using more humane slaughter methods for fish but these practices need to be written into national legislation and cover all species.
Please, write to your Agricultural Minister, asking them to introduce national legislation protecting fish at their time of death.
Just like other farmed animals, fish are sentient. These intelligent, sensitive animals are capable of feeling immense pain, and they desperately need you to speak up on their behalf.
It’s time for us to Rethink Fish.