According to The Herald, the Scottish fish farming industry admitted to throwing away up to 10 million salmon last year because of diseases, parasites, and other preventable illnesses.
Official records reveal that the number of dead fish tossed annually has more than doubled since 2013, hitting a record high in 2016. The industry blames the deaths on disease and sea lice and says the dead fish are transported and burned in an incinerator.
Dr. Richard Luxmoore, senior nature conservation adviser for the National Trust for Scotland, states:
The salmon farming industry has lost the ability to control fish diseases and this results in escalating quantities of toxic chemicals being poured into the sea in an increasingly fruitless attempt to control them. It also inevitably leads to the release of an infectious soup of disease organisms into our coastal waters.
This is just the latest appalling fish farming story to make headlines. Recently undercover footage from salmon farms in Vancouver revealed blind, emaciated fish swimming in their own feces.
Factory farms are filthy and overcrowded, which makes them the perfect breeding grounds for parasites. Last year an outbreak of sea lice stretched from Scandinavia to Chile. Now nearly half of Scotland’s salmon farms are infested with the parasite, which feeds on blood, skin, and slime.
But filth and infestations are just the beginning.
A study in the Journal of Experimental Biology found that salmon bred and raised at fish factory farms are forced to grow at such an accelerated rate that more than half go partially deaf. Another study found that many farmed salmon suffer from severe depression. Known as “drop outs,” depressed salmon float lifelessly.
After their miserable lives at factory farms, many fish face particularly gruesome deaths. Despite fishes’ capacity for pain, the seafood industry treats these innocent beings as mere objects.
A Mercy For Animals undercover investigation at a fish slaughter facility exposed fish being skinned alive. The fish thrashed and fought to escape the workers' knives. As they gasped for oxygen, workers ripped their skin off with pliers.