A new joint report, Underwater Cages, Parasites and Dead Fish, from OneKind and Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) and undercover investigation by Compassion in World Farming launched today reveal the true welfare and environmental cost of Scotland’s salmon farming industry.
Scotland’s salmon farming industry is one of the top 3 salmon farming countries globally, and the Scottish Government aims to expand the industry by 50% by 2030. But new undercover investigative footage from CIWF reveals just how much suffering these animals are subject to on Scotland’s salmon farms.
Missing eyes, deformities and disease
CIWF investigated 22 Scottish salmon farms using both drone technology, and at 6 farms, underwater divers, between September and November 2020.
Salmon were discovered with missing eyes, deformities and disease. Some even had seaweed growing from open wounds and chunks of their flesh missing. Sea lice were also eating the skin of the salmon. As we’ve documented previously, methods to remove sea lice can often do more harm than good, exposing salmon to harsh chemicals or hash mechincal treatments, causing stress, injuries and even death.
The appalling findings shown in the investigation were documented on farms owned by all five of Scotland’s largest salmon producers, which together account for over 96% of the industry. Some of these conditions breach animal welfare law, but much of what investigators found is standard.
Underwater Cages, Parasites and Dead Fish
Our joint and comprehensive report, Underwater Cages, Parasites and Dead Fish, with Compassion in World Farming highlights the level of salmon suffering on an industry-wide and endemic scale, breaches in animal welfare legislation and shockingly high mortality rates.
The report also explores the effects of salmon farming pollution on the Scottish environment, why salmon farming is unsustainable and the consequences of salmon farms for local communities.
You can read and download the report here.
The Scottish salmon farming industry is rife with fish welfare issues. At current production levels sea lice infestation and disease are out of control, causing severe fish suffering on an alarming scale.