Intensive fish farms: our footage on national Tv

© Selene Magnolia / We Animals Media


Intensive fish farms: our footage on national Tv

Maria Mancuso
Web content editor

Cartabianca, the in-depth programme headed by Bianca Berlinguer on Rai 3, broadcast our images in an edition dedicated to the conditions of fish imprisoned on intensive fish farms in Europe.

Once again, our footage served to shed light on the unacceptable conditions in which fish are forced to live on intensive farms: sentient animals, but little protected by animal welfare laws.

As you can see from the programme, Scottish salmon are imprisoned in floating cages measuring just a few square metres for years until they reach the appropriate weight for slaughter. Due to the poor hygiene conditions and overcrowding, they are affected by parasites, diseases and even blindness. They are treated preventively with antibiotics, pesticides and insecticides and it is not surprising that the mortality rate in the cages is very high.

It is not only salmon that are affected: as our footage in the programme shows, other fish commonly consumed in Italy are also subjected to profound suffering and trauma. One of the causes is the pressing of eggs from females and semen from males, which causes acute stress and injury. Or being tagged while they are still alive and the fact that death comes slowly, by means of asphyxiation or blows to the head.

Our investigations into intensive fish farms

Once they have been hauled out of the cages, sea bass and sea bream are dumped into crates full of ice and water. Here, they will die of hypothermia or asphyxiation.
© Selene Magnolia / We Animals Media

Essere Animali has carried out several undercover investigations on intensive European fish farms. In the last one, which took place in Greece in collaboration with We Animals Media, we documented how sea bass and sea bream (the most commonly consumed species in Italy) are raised. Greece is a leading country in the aquaculture sector in Europe and has 300 fish farms occupying a marine area equivalent to 4,177 football pitches.

Fish consumption is unsustainable: let’s take it off the menu

As we have already explained on various occasions, aquaculture is not a sustainable alternative to industrial fishing. It also subjects animals to terrible suffering and causes serious environmental problems that also put our own health at risk.

There can only be one solution: to take fish off the menu completely

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