Animal welfare standards for aquatic animals to be defined for the first time
Animal welfare organization Aquatic Life Institute (ALI) seeks to define animal welfare standards for wild and farmed aquatic animals by leading the research and forming the first coalition for the protection of aquatic animals. ALI founded the Aquatic Animal Alliance (AAA) to campaign for change in the industry. The coalition is made up of leading animal welfare organizations including The Humane League, Compassion in World Farming and Mercy for Animals (MFA).
“The number of aquatic animals suffering from human exploitation is staggering,” Walter Sanchez-Suarez, animal behavior and welfare scientist at MFA, told VegNews. “When our latest investigation into a US fish farm was revealed, fish are often subjected to horrific abuse that other living things like dogs, chickens or pigs would never experience. Mercy For Animals is proud to join this pioneering coalition and campaign for reforms to reduce the suffering of aquatic animals and enable them to live a life worth living. “
Setting standards to reduce suffering
According to the ALI, approximately two to three trillion aquatic animals are killed in the wild every year and 100 billion are raised in conditions of high suffering. At the global level, however, there is a large gap in relation to animal welfare in the water as the concept of “higher animal welfare” remains undecided. So far, ALI has worked with global experts to create a unique, comprehensive guide to protecting aquatic animals. It consists of five pillars that cover ideal environments, feeding, space requirements and stocking density, water quality and slaughter. ALI’s work also includes product certification programs as most of the world’s “sustainable” fish labels do not cover animal welfare. This year, the AAA has already given specific labeling organizations a joint feedback in which it calls for the introduction of animal welfare standards for aquatic animals.
Vegan seafood innovation
At the same time, vegan food companies are developing innovative plant-based seafood products to eliminate the fishing industry and save the world’s oceans from overfishing. Good catch food– founded in the US by cooking brothers Chad and Derek Sarno – has recently expanded to new markets in Canada and Europe. And food technology startup BlueNalu plans to launch its first cell-based seafood product in the second half of 2021.