Fish farming, usually euphemized as aquaculture, is already the most rapidly growing exploitative industry, and the consumption of factory farmed fishes already exceeds the one of caught fishes, and it is about to get worse.
An unfortunate breakthrough was achieved at a Spanish government-run research center, where the first successful breeding of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna took place. Up to now, farming of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna has relied on catching young wild fishes and fattening them in open-sea cages, but now that the inhibiting dependencies have been removed, this industry can expand.
The breeding facility will supply fertilized eggs and juvenile Tuna to the newly created commercial firms, which will either continue the breeding cycle on land, or use a combination of land-based tanks and sea cages.
At least two companies already plan to build an industrial farm of land-bred Tuna, and they would be the first to use only tank-bred Atlantic Bluefin stocks of fertilized eggs or young Tuna.
One of the companies plans to establish its own breeding program and sell young fish to “grow-out” farms for fattening and sale, next year, with the goal of selling about 45 tonnes of juvenile Atlantic Bluefin Tuna by 2025, and 1,200 tonnes by 2028. The other one aims at producing fishes by late 2024. And they would probably be followed by other companies soon.
The Bluefin Tuna is a highly migratory species with complex behaviors and migration patterns. Farming these fishes so intensively would cause many welfare issues such as high stress, frustration, disease, and, ultimately, poor immunity.
And not only that more Tuna fishes are going to suffer, and to suffer even more than they do now, an increase in farmed Tuna would mean more fishes being caught from the oceans to feed them.
Usually “solutions” offered by humans end up hurting more animals or hurting animals more severely, and in many cases both. One of these cases is fish farming.
In a former post we discussed how as a consequence of the reduction in marine animals capture from the oceans in the last few decades, humans hurt marine animals even more severely by intensively farming billions of them. A lifetime of dense confinement in waste filled water, exposure to diseases and other bodily harms due to genetic manipulation are forced upon the fishes as a direct result of the decision to switch to farming. The other, less known, result is widening the scope of abuse even further. As a consequence of farming fishes, many of which are of carnivorous species, even more fishes are captured from the oceans, to feed the fishes confined in the farms.
It is estimated that every year between 450 billion and one trillion fishes are purposely caught specifically to be grind up into fishmeal and fish oil, which are mostly used as food for other animals humans rear for food, mainly farmed fishes.
Virtually any fish or shellfish in the sea can be grind up into fishmeal and fish oil, but they are usually produced from small marine fishes that are considered not suitable for direct human consumption.
These sentient beings, hundreds of billions of them, are even more invisible than the hundreds of billions of sentient beings that humans directly consume.
If fishes that humans consume are not even counted by the industry as single “items” but in kilograms and tones, and even among the animal liberation movement their misery is rather concealed, probably because activists know how little empathy fishes raise among humans, when will come the time of the fishes that are eaten by the fishes humans eat?
This horrible development is another example of how economic decisions such as trade agreements, which we wrote about in some former posts, and technological “advances” are much more significant in terms of animals’ suffering than the movement’s efforts.
Despite what might seem as a strengthening of the movement in the last couple of years, along with the much greater increase in the number of consumers and the much greater increase in the consumption of each consumer (which by far exceeds the increase in the number of vegans and in the consumption of vegan products by none vegans), internal changes in the industry also make the world a worse place all the time.