Every day, millions of fish endure lives of pain and misery. Hidden far from the public eye, fish raised on factory farms and caught in the wild experience unimaginable suffering—dragged from the ocean depths so abruptly their organs can rupture, crushed under the weight of hundreds of others piled on top of them, and dumped into slurries of ice while fully conscious to await an inhumane slaughter.
This is unacceptable.
Conscious consumers looking to purchase higher-welfare options often turn to third-party certifiers of fish and fish products, presuming their labels represent meaningful welfare improvements—in addition to the sustainability standards they are known for. Unfortunately, not one of the five major third-party certifications adequately address the welfare of animals within the fishing and aquaculture industries.
It’s time for that to change.
Compassion has investigated the standards of these international labels and uncovered a shocking truth: Fish certified by these organizations suffer in far too many ways. Here are just a few of the unacceptable practices allowed under some of these certifications:
- Starving fish for up to 14 days
- Overcrowding fish into small tanks or sea cages
- Inflicting a slow, painful death without adequate stunning
- Shooting wild seals and possibly harming dolphins with underwater noise
Just like their counterparts on land, fish are emotional, complex beings. They’re sociable, collaborative, and creative—and they do feel pain. Yet, they continue to suffer in silence by the billions, even trillions. Without a voice of their own, they need you to speak up on their behalf.
These five labels prioritize the sustainability of fish stocks and the environment, which is important work. But they are expected by the public to also protect fish welfare, and some have no welfare protections in place at all. They must do more to improve the lives of the fish they certify.
Will you please use our quick form to write to the CEOs of these certifications and encourage them to introduce or strengthen welfare standards for billions of fish?
Find out more about our investigation of these five labels: ciwf.com/fishlabels.