Humane Myth: Farmed Fish
An Animal Rights Article from


Catskill Animal Sanctuary (CAS)
March 2013

Even though fish aren’t farm animals, they are farmed all over the world for their flesh. As our oceans and rivers are becoming depleted from overfishing, “farmed” fish are becoming more prevalent. This “farmed” label means that the fish was raised on a fish farm, not caught in the wild. Fish farms exist on land and in large bodies of water. On land, farmed fish are grown in large pools. In the water, they are grown in floating sea cages called aquafarms. As with farmed cows, chickens, pigs, and others, their treatment is unregulated. Their lives, too, consist of overcrowding, high mortality rates, disease, deformities, and stress-related injuries.

fish farmed overfishing Catskill
Aquafarms grow hundreds of thousands of fish at once, and leak toxins into the ocean.

Aquafarms can hold up to 90,000 fish and offer no effective barrier to the discharge of their waste, parasites, and disease into the surrounding coastal waters. The use of chicken, pig, and duck feces as feed is common in fish farming, particularly in Asia. Ocean fish in the area are completely exposed to the contaminants that escape these cages.

Once the fish reach market weight, they are starved for up to ten days as they are transferred to a slaughter facility. There are no regulations in the US that ensure the humane treatment of fish. Therefore, most fish die horrible deaths, having their gills cut and being left to bleed out, or being forcefully hit on the head.

fish farmed overfishing Catskill
On land, fish are grown in overcrowded pools before they are sent to slaughter.

Farmed salmon have been found to hold many toxins within their flesh (dioxins, chlorinated pesticides, PCBs, and others). Disease and toxins harvested within farmed fish cages greatly affect surrounding ecosystems, as well as humans who consume them. In aquafarms, fish escape their sea cage during storms and interbreed and compete with the native fish. Over the years, this has caused a decrease in survival rate among native fish.

Mislabeling of fish products is rampant. For example, over 50% of salmon labeled wild is actually farmed, and grouper is not usually real grouper. Help animals, the environment, and your personal health, by adopting a vegan diet.

fish overfishing farmed fish Catskill
[Ed. Note: We are so disrespectful that we do not count fish as individuals; they are literally counted "by the ton"...]


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

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