Farmed fish - what are we doing?

We're working in a number of ways to increase awareness of fish welfare issues and engage with the salmon and trout farming industries, governments and retailers to encourage improvements.

RSPCA welfare standards for farmed Atlantic salmon

RSPCA welfare standards for farmed Atlantic salmon cover © RSPCA Farm Animals Department

We have developed a set of detailed RSPCA welfare standards for farmed Atlantic salmon. The standards cover all the key areas affecting fish welfare including water quality, stocking density, handling, health, slaughter and wider environmental impact.

We have also written and included what we believe to be the world's first welfare standards for well boats.

The standards are used by a significant proportion of the Scottish farmed salmon industry.

Engaging with decision makers

We take every opportunity to engage with decision makers and to put forwards our views to encourage improvements for the welfare of farmed fish. For example, we are members of the European Animal Welfare Platform (EAWP), which identifies best practice and looks into areas in which more research is needed into fish welfare. We are also members of the Marine Scotland technical working group looking at providing minimum technical definitions/industry standards for certain aspects of the fish farming process.

Scientific research

We have conducted our own applied research looking at how freshwater stocking densities affect fish welfare. We are also developing a system of 'welfare outcome assessment' to make it easier to tell whether fish welfare on a given farm is as good as possible or could be improved.

If you're concerned about fish welfare, then find out about how you can help.

Did you find this useful?