B.C. Fish Slaughterhouses Operate an Ecological Hellscape, Audit Shows

When shocking video footage of a pipe gushing the polluted blood of farmed fish into the Salish Sea went viral, officials in the Canadian province of British Columbia (B.C.) scurried to find out just how recklessly the fish-slaughter industry operates. A new audit shows that the problem is probably worse than anyone had imagined.

B.C.’s Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy reported that 70 percent of fish slaughterhouses failed to comply with environmental regulations. Most of those inspected were found to be operating under regulations that are outdated by several decades.

Authorities noted that operators are dumping highly toxic waste into coastal waters at a level that far exceeds what regulations allow. As stated in the report, this effluent discharge is “frequently acutely lethal to fish.” Activists are especially concerned about its impact on wild salmon—whose migration path goes right through the bloody plume that sparked these audits in the first place.

You can’t be an environmentalist and eat fish flesh—period.

Just like commercial fishing, aquafarming desecrates natural waters. Coastal fish farms release massive amounts of feces, antibiotics, parasites, and nonnative fish into sensitive marine ecosystems. Research reveals that aquaculture can emit more methane and create more greenhouse gases than other industries that kill animals for their flesh do.

Unless humans stop eating fish, pollution and the threat of disease for wild fish will continue to explode exponentially. It’s estimated that 10 to 100 billion farmed fish are killed yearly. Fish farms are growing so rapidly that half the fish killed for food now spend most of their lives crowded into filthy tanks or pens where infection and parasites run rampant.

If these farms confined dogs and cats this way, they’d face criminal charges.

Science has confirmed that—just like humans and all other animals—fish feel pain. Severe crowding on farms causes them to sustain injuries to the face and fins, creates major stress for them, and leads to outbreaks of disease and parasites, including the chronic presence of sea lice, who can eat their faces down to the bone.

Fish on these farms are often deprived of food for days or even weeks leading up to slaughter in order to reduce waste contamination of the water during transport. Some are killed without being stunned—their bodies are cut open and they’re left to bleed to death. Others slowly suffocate when the water around them is drained away.

You can save animals and the planet by going vegan today.

Raising animals for food requires massive amounts of land, food, energy, and water and causes them to endure immense suffering. Order a free vegan starter kit, and see how easy it is to help prevent environmental degradation and save nearly 200 animals a year from a cruel, senseless death. (Also check out our “Eat No Fish” shirt at the PETA Catalog.)

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