Canada’s first-ever Code of Practice for fish is open for public comment


Canada’s first-ever Code of Practice for fish is open for public comment

27 November 2020
Fish farming (also known as ‘aquaculture’) has increased in recent decades, and so has the concern about welfare issues that result from keeping fish in crowded pens and subjecting them to procedures that cause pain and stress, not unlike other farmed animals.

As a result of increasing public concern, and the growing recognition of this concern by the fishing industry, the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) is developing Canada’s first ever Code of Practice for Farmed Salmonids (salmon is the most farmed species in Canada). Every code development committee has representatives from different stakeholder groups, including an animal welfare representative. As a member of NFACC, World Animal Protection represented the animal welfare perspective for this Code.

As in every NFACC Code of Practice, key welfare issues have been identified by the Code’s Scientific Committee based on the latest research and expertise in fish health, behaviour and welfare. The Code outlines recommendations and requirements for the aquaculture industry in the areas of husbandry, health/disease measures, the impact of sea lice on fish welfare, fasting/feed withdrawal, stock density, water quality issues, lighting and photoperiods, slaughter methods, as well as other topics.

The first-ever Code is open for public comment until January 7, 2021. We encourage you to submit official comments to NFACC to demonstrate that Canadians care about the care and treatment of fish. Like all farmed animals, fish should not suffer needlessly, and this should be reflected in the Codes of Practice. Below are some specific areas where the Code standards could be stronger, but feel free to include other comments on issues important to you: