Billions of ‘sensitive, intelligent, and emotional’ fish are suffering horrific cruelty as a result of factory farming, environmental campaigners claim.
While farming in sea cages is increasingly regulated, there has been a rise in farms using land-based concrete tanks.
Lobby group Compassion in World Farming (CiWF) said the fish held in such tanks are more likely to suffer from disease and parasites and so are routinely treated with antibiotics and chemicals.
Billions of ‘sensitive, intelligent, and emotional’ fish are suffering horrific cruelty as a result of factory farming, environmental campaigners claim [File photo]
A spokesman added that many were not slaughtered humanely: ‘Billions of fish are living lives of abject misery.’
Dr Krzysztof Wojtas of CiWF called for the law to require humane slaughter methods.
He told BBC’s Countryfile: ‘Just like on land, these farms are crowded, grim places where the animals suffer immensely. Many are then being slaughtered in the most gruesome of ways.
‘Discoveries are proving that fish are sensitive, intelligent, emotional animals. They deserve a humane life and death.’
Increasing consumer demand for seafood has driven a rise in farming of sea bass, sea bream and trout, as well as species such as tilapia, prawns, shrimp and even octopus.
Fish farming is the fastest-growing agriculture sector in the world, increasing at an average of 5.8 per cent a year since 2005 [File photo]
Fish farming is the fastest-growing agriculture sector in the world, increasing at an average of 5.8 per cent a year since 2005.
One company, US firm Aquabounty, rears fast-growing, genetically modified salmon in land tanks. The fish grow to 2ft and a market weight of 6½lb in 18 months rather than the three years it takes normal farmed Atlantic salmon to reach that size.
The fish are sold in the US, without being labelled as GM, mostly as sushi. Aquabounty was approached for comment.