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Have some compassion this Fish Dependence Day

News Section Icon Published 14/07/2011

Fish Dependence Day
Saturday 16 July is 'Fish Dependence Day'. If we had only eaten fish from UK seas, next Saturday marks the day that we would have run out of fish for the year. Every year there are fewer fish and we are increasingly turning to farmed fish to satisfy demand.  

Scary fact!
It has been estimated that if the world's fisheries were run sustainably and distributed equitably, everybody's share would only give them two fish meals a month. 

European Union in talks
Today, Wednesday 13 July 2011, the EU Commission will publish a proposal for a new system for managing fisheries, including fish farming.  With the growing move to source fish from farms, Compassion in World Farming is urging the Commission to more seriously consider the welfare of the fish in question.

Fish have feelings too
Fish are sentient beings - evidence from research indicates that fish can:

  • Experience pain, fear and psychological stress
  • Have the capacity to suffer
  • Be reduced to a state of chronic stress

Indeed fish are recognised as sentient beings by the EU Treaty. However EU legislation gives very little protection to the welfare of fish despite Scientific Opinions by the European Food Safety Authority showing that there is a wide range of welfare problems on EU fish farms and at slaughter. Scientific research shows that farmed fish suffer from:

  • Infectious diseases
  • Soft tissue malformations
  • Eye cataracts
  • Damage to scales, skin and fins due to overcrowding and handling

Attack from predators can still happen in confined fish farms
Confined in cages, farmed fish are unable to evade algal blooms and jellyfish both of which can cause serious injuries. The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) stresses that attacks by predators are a major welfare problem and that "repeated or prolonged attack, or traumatic wounding, must cause suffering". The EFSA has also stressed that the industry should, as a matter of urgency, develop more humane slaughter methods. Although the UK salmon and trout industries have taken steps to improve their slaughter methods, the slaughter of other species remains a major problem in the EU.



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  • We believe that farm animals, and that includes farmed fish, should not and need not suffer. If you agree, please support us today. Your donation could help end all forms of farm animal cruelty and help us stop factory farming in its tracks. We receive no government funding so rely entirely on the generosity of our supporters to prevent cruelty to farm animals all over the world.
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