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First-Ever Undercover Footage of Salmon Aquaculture Finds Cruel and Filthy World


Compassion Over Killing reveals a first-of-its-kind undercover investigation that uncovers the murky surface of industrial fish farming. The gut-wrenching video exposes animal abuse and awful conditions at Cooke Aquaculture, a massive salmon hatchery whose subsidiary, True North, has partnered on a new seafood brand with Martha Stewart.

In addition to the Martha Stewart for True North Seafood product line, the company is also a supplier to Samuel and Sons Seafood, Central Market, QVC, and others. 

Inside the single Cooke Aquaculture hatchery, millions of Atlantic salmon are raised each year, living in extremely crowded tanks in their own waste.

“He’s just gonna suffer until he’s f**king dead.” - Cooke Aquaculture employee on video

COK’s shocking video reveals:

  • Workers’ cruel handling of fish, including slamming and stomping on fish, “trick shots,” and violently throwing fish
  • Workers improperly killing fish by slamming them on the ground 
  • Live fish have their eyes eaten by fish who are underfed and hungry and mistake their pupils as food
  • Improper anaesthetization during vaccination and fin clipping
  • Fish thrown into buckets and left to suffocate in piles of the dead and dying
  • Conditions so filthy that fish must be vaccinated
  • Painful spinal deformities, and fungus growth on fish intended for human consumption
  • Extreme crowding in barren conditions and high death rates of eggs and fish

The hatchery’s foul environment is the perfect breeding ground for parasites, and COK’s investigator even documented fungus eating away at the faces of fish.

In this unnatural environment, many salmon at the hatchery doesn’t even survive long enough to be sent to slaughter at another facility. COK’s investigator documented a worker saying, “Hopefully by Monday morning, all the fish aren’t dead in here.”

COK has submitted evidence to authorities and is urging prompt enforcement action.

Just as land animals endure misery on factory farms, so too do fish. As scientist Becca Franks has concluded, “The science on fish sentience is clear: fish have the capacity to suffer and feel pain.”

“While the aquaculture industry sells itself as a solution to the state of our overfished oceans, there’s a big catch: Millions of farmed fish are languishing inside filthy tanks, and disease and pollution from fish factory farms take a toll on wild populations, too,” said Mike Wolf, Director of Investigations, Compassion Over Killing. “It’s long past time the fish farming industry is put on the hook for the suffering it’s forcing upon animals.”

For investigative footage, please visit: COK.net/FishFarm

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Compassion Over Killing (COK) is a nonprofit animal protection organization working to end the abuse of farmed animals through undercover investigations, litigation, corporate outreach, public education, and other advocacy programs. http://cok.net

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