A study by researchers at the University of Waterloo, the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso, and Chile's University of Valparaiso found that vaccines commonly used at fish factory farms are useless because tanks are rife with waste and disease.
Researchers discovered that despite the reduction in bacteria living inside the fish, vaccinated fish are unable to fight off multiple diseases at once. This is the first study to show how parasites in fish can override vaccines for another disease.
Biology professor Brian Dixon explains:
Fish have a limited number of resources to respond to an illness so their immune system makes choices—when they're infected by sea lice, for example, the fish's immune system is suddenly geared to respond to that specific threat, leaving them totally exposed to other threats like P. salmonis.
So how often do fish contract parasites like sea lice? The answer: all the time.
You see, fish factory farms are filthy and overcrowded, making them 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.
Recent undercover footage of salmon factory farms off Vancouver Island reveals unimaginable horror: blind, emaciated salmon swimming in their own feces. What’s more, a 17-year report discovered that sea lice from one of the fish farms had been killing young wild salmon.
But fish factory farming is not just filthy and dangerous. It’s also unspeakably cruel. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology found that salmon bred and raised at fish factory farms 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, fish face a gruesome death. Despite their capacity to feel pain, the seafood industry treats fish as mere objects.
In 2011 Mercy For Animals conducted an undercover investigation at a fish slaughter facility and exposed fish being skinned alive. They thrashed and fought to escape the workers’ knives. As the fish gasped for oxygen, workers ripped off their skin with pliers.
The seafood industry obviously doesn’t care about the well-being of fish.