gutted fish

New study calls for EU fish legislation

General International SLIDER

In a scientific study by Compassion in World Farming, published in February this year, showed that the amount of farmed fish, slaughtered worldwide, had almost doubled since 1990.

Estimated global numbers of farmed fishes annually killed for food from 1990 to 2019  has risen dramatically over the last 12 years – from 61 billion fish in 2007 to 124 billion in 2019. This number is likely to be much higher as many die during rearing. Inhumane slaughter practices cause immense suffering for farmed fish. Most farmed fish (70-72%) have no legal protection at all and less than 1% has any species-specific legal protection at slaughter.


According to Phil Brooke from Compassion in World Farming’s Research and co-author of the ground-breaking agrees wholeheartedly with lead author, Alison Mood, of Fishcount, saying: “This new study reveals a massive increase in the number of farmed fish slaughtered over a 30-year period and highlights the urgent need for legislation to protect their welfare. “It shows that around 124 billion individual fish are now slaughtered each year. These are sentient creatures which not only feel pain and experience fear, but also experience a range of emotions. There are now more farmed fishes than farmed birds and mammals, yet most farmed fish have no species-specific legal protection at all and this must be addressed.


Fish welfare legislation is now urgently needed across the world to ensure all fish farmed have lives worth living and experience a humane death and we call on the EU and other legislative bodies to introduce new welfare laws at the earliest possible opportunity.Compassion in World Farming


In April this year, the NGO launched a new report at the European Parliament, Rethinking Aquaculture: for people, animals and the planet and called on the European Union to introduce fish welfare legislation as part of its current review of animal welfare legislation.

The majority of which are reared and slaughtered in Asia and is estimated to outnumber the 80 billion farmed birds and mammals killed each year for food on annual basis, throughout the globe.