Dale Vince blasts the toxic cruelty of Britain's salmon farms

New undercover footage expose alleged 'cruelty and disease' as well as the use of poison on salmon farms across Scotland

Footage released this month, taken at salmon farms across the UK show barbaric cruelty, devastating disease, shocking mortality rates (1 in 4 dies before reaching adulthood), pollution, cross contamination and even the use of poison. It is being released today in the hope of informing Brits ahead of Christmas celebrations.

The footage was taken from investigations running over months at several salmon farms across Scotland.

The film shows, sometimes distressing, scenes of salmon being eaten alive by parasites and being dispatched inhumanly. It also illustrates the heinous nets in which fish live with no space to swim, surrounded by dead and dying fish. There are sometimes up to a 100,000 fish in these small nets, allowing parasites and disease to spread rapidly. The nets measure just 32 meters in diameter, the average farmed salmon measures 70 cm at maturity.

It goes on to highlight the usage of poisons, which are banned in all other types of animal farming. These poisons are impacting other marine life around the farms including, crab, fish and otters.

It doesn’t stop there as the fish marked as wild fish are being cross contaminated with the parasites and poisons as they swim past the nets as part of their migration.

Dale Vince OBE, funder of the investigation, Founder of Ecotricity, Exec Producer Seaspiracy and UN Ambassador for Climate Change says

‘Firstly, the fact that it takes over seven tonnes of wild fish to produce just one ton of farmed salmon is ludicrous. It’s a monstrous waste and is totally unsustainable. I urge the British public to make different choices this Christmas – why not try seasonable favourites such as chestnuts, cranberries, beetroot, or even smoked tofu or mushroom pate to replace salmon on your festive menus. Surely cruelty doesn’t taste good, does it?’

The UK consumes 63,300 tonnes of salmon each year – that’s 14 million fish. It takes a staggering 460,000 tonnes of wild fish to feed the farmed salmon. In addition, an extra two million Brits will purchase salmon for their festive celebrations – but will they just be eating fish when they tuck in on Christmas Day or will it be fish with a side of lice and poison?

Comment by Dale Vince - Green energy pion

"What shocked me, is just how much wild fish it takes to feed these farmed fish – it takes seven tonnes of wild fish to produce one ton of farmed salmon. That’s not just totally unsustainable, it’s utterly absurd, economics of the mad house.

Animal agriculture generally is just like this - with cows for example it takes up to ten kilos of human-grade plant protein to make one kilo of beef. We can no longer afford to make our food this way.

Salmon are majestic, intelligent creatures, evolved to swim thousands of miles in their lifetime, that’s their nature.

Cramming them, one hundred thousand at a time into tiny nets is torture, like intensive chicken farming or killer whales in the goldfish bowls of Seaworld.

And the cramped conditions lead to far more awful things - they live in a literal soup of parasites, cheek by gill with the dead and dying - and those being eaten alive by sea lice.

These fish are reared in a cesspit, no wonder one in four of them die from disease and illness before they reach the age of slaughter.

Conditions are so bad that the farmers use Formaldehyde, a deadly poison, banned in all other parts of the food industry. And for what? A Christmas starter that we didn’t use to have and don’t really need.

Salmon farming is hammering local wildlife too – the parasites and poisons used to treat them leech into ecosystems harming local populations of otters, crabs and fish.

It also harms wild salmon as they are swimming past the ‘death nets’ on their way to spawn the next generation.

We need to end salmon farming, it’s an absurdly cruel and unsustainable case practice - the most effective way to do this is to stop buying it, boycott the industry.

There are so many different and better options open to us for a Christmas starter or main meal week in and out.

Poison, cruelty and parasite-free options you could enjoy, and feel good about eating.

One day the practice of industrial animal farming will be illegal - until then we need to exercise our own moral judgement and put the environment and our fellow creatures ahead of a simple selfish choice."