Fish farming: aquaculture is unsustainable for animals

Italy is one of the European countries that consumes the most fish, we are talking about 30 kilograms per capita per year, and it spends the most on fish products: between 2020 and 2021, we are talking about more than 880 million euros, according to Eumofa data.

According to the latest calculations published by API, the Italian fish farmers’ association, fish farming in Italy has exceeded its turnover and produces three hundred million euros. 54 thousand tons of fish from twenty different species, distributed in more than seven hundred production locations. They are in first place in terms of production volume trout annually grown in the order of 29 thousand tons, follows bream and sea bass with more than 17 thousand

And the number of bred individuals? Not available as it happens in chickens, pigs, cows and other vertebrates, and it says a lot about how our society broadly perceives these animals that are currently numerically the most used but those least protected by law.

Our investigation, published in recent days, shows how fish are kept in the factory in the province of Treviso. The pictures are very strong: the sturgeon are violently knocked to the ground, some are literally hooked in the mouth and thrown into the baskets, others are broken in half, and there is a lot of blood in the water and on the ground.

Inspections do not help to prevent these situations: according to the statement of the production manager, the veterinarians did not deny some illegal practices and would inform the company before starting the visits. But many of the procedures documented are legalbecause, as we mentioned at the beginning, adequate protection is lacking for this species both at European and national level.

Good living conditions for fish

In Italy, such farms could be certified as “sustainable aquaculture”, a designation developed by the Ministry of Agriculture together with the associations of fish producers (Api) and shellfish producers (Ama) in 2020, which could confuse citizens. In the certification specification In fact, there is no clear definition of fish welfare, as well as the basic parameters necessary to eliminate the main causes of fish suffering in farms. Among them, there is certainly one related to the lack of more suitable methods of stunning and killing various types of fish, which in fact translates into widespread use bloody and painful practices.

In the case of the farm we examined, spending occurs regularly irregularwith violence against animals and avoid suffering, such as applying electrical cable clamps directly to the fish’s gills, a particularly sensitive part of the body. When using an electric current, as recommended by the European Commission, the animals are kept out of the water and therefore the electric shock does not circulate evenly between the animals, which are therefore not effectively and immediately stunned.

Fish are recognized by many institutions, such as the World Organization for Animal Health, the World Organization for Animal Health, Inc sentient beings, i.e. able to feel pain or fear. This means that their welfare cannot be ignored when we talk about sustainability, as in the case of ministerial labeling, otherwise we will have to talk about certification, which is deceptive in every way.


Leave a Comment