Compassion in World Farming has launched a #RethinkFish campaign to help improve the welfare of the trillions of fish – both farmed and wild – which are used for human consumption every year.
The aim of the campaign is to raise general awareness of the sentience of fish and specifically issues such as overcrowding on intensive fish farms where disease and parasites can thrive, and the inhumane slaughter methods that are widely used.
Today, it is estimated that globally up to 3 trillion fish are killed annually for human consumption (and for the production of fish meal and fish oil), compared to 74 billion land animals.
The campaign comes after a recent survey of 9,000 people across Europe by ComRes found that 79% of adults across the European markets tested said that the welfare of fish should be protected to the same extent as other animals eaten by humans.
Dr Tracey Jones, director of food business at Compassion in World Farming said: “Much needs to change to address the welfare issues for the vast numbers of fish that are farmed for our food. The first step is to ensure good welfare at slaughter and we’ve seen some industry progress in this area for certain species such as salmon and trout.
Now is the time for food companies to be abreast of the growing consumer concern and to ensure that all finfish farmed for food are humanely slaughtered and that they have supplier policies in place to ensure good welfare throughout life.”