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RSPCA Assured Salmon

Author: Øistein Thorsen, FAI Farms

The rise and rise of aquaculture

RSPCA Freedom Food Labelled Salmon

Global fish and seafood consumption is rising rapidly with aquaculture now fulfilling much of the world’s protein needs. Global production was 66.5 million tons in 2012, with farmed fish production now exceeding global beef production (Transparency Market Research)

Promoting fish health and welfare

In the UK, over half of the fish consumed is now from farms. Water quality, handling procedures, stocking density, and the way fish are transported and slaughtered can have a big impact on their welfare.

Salmon is the most commonly farmed species in the UK, with around 90% being produced in Scotland.

Setting the standard

At the forefront of developing and improving health and welfare standards for farmed fish is the RSPCA’s Freedom Food label, which aims to certify 90% of UK farmed fish over the next two years.

Benchmark’s aquaculture health team - led by Pete Southgate - worked closely with the RSPCA, representatives from the salmon industry and fish welfare groups to develop the Welfare Standards for Farmed Atlantic Salmon.

Over 70% of Scottish salmon is now farmed to the RSPCA’s standards and more salmon farmers throughout the UK are working to this standard than in any other farming sector.

"We’ve clearly shown that farming to RSPCA welfare standards makes good business – as well as good welfare – sense. Healthier fish and better bio-security means lower mortality, and therefore increased salmon production." Bob Waller, Freedom Food’s Agricultural Manager