We are driven by a deep awareness of the vulnerability of aquatic ecosystems and our duty to protect them. We believe that taking good care of the animals you raise is common sense. Concern for the welfare of farmed fish — including provision of environmental enrichment — can be traced all the way back to Ancient Rome where the treatise On Agriculture advised fish farmers to improve the housing within which fish are kept so that, despite being prisoners, “the fish may feel their captivity as little as possible".
Recognising that aquatic animals are sentient beings and recognising that they can be an important source of protein for a large percent of the global population, where the consumption of aquatic animal protein is essential, our vision is of a world in which such protein is derived from aquatic animals that have experienced as little suffering as possible and as close to ‘a life worth living’ as the latest scientific knowledge can allow us to get.
In the context of fish farms, we would like conditions to be as close to ‘natural’ as possible and in the context of wild capture fisheries, we would like to see the use of humane and gentle capture methods that value animal suffering equal to, if not above economic efficiency and profitability.
In the long term, we would like to see a reduction in reliance on overfished stocks and environmentally polluting aquaculture operations for meeting our food security needs. We would also like to see a world in which alternative proteins such as cellular or cultivated seafood play a much larger role in the global food system. This includes healthy marine-derived proteins such as the abundant seaweeds found on every single continent.
In many cases, improving the conditions that farmed aquatic animals are kept in leads to improved animal health, a reduced need to use antimicrobial agents, less animals dying and a tastier end product for the consumers. Those involved in animal husbandry know this instinctively. This concept is not new and has been touted for farmed land animals under various names such as ‘One Health’ and ‘One Welfare’. We need to embrace this approach and apply it widely across all our food systems.
The same logic applies to wild-caught aquatic animals. Those working on fishing vessels know that the best quality fillets of high value species such as cod, haddock and tuna come from those animals that have been caught using the gentlest methods (e.g., pole-and-line) and have been stunned right away before being brought on deck so as not to need to fight to escape (which leads to lactic acid build up in their muscles). The fish must be slaughtered and bled immediately to preserve the meat quality. Given how discerning Japanese consumers are with the taste of their food, Japanese fishing vessels deploy precise capture & slaughter (known as ‘ike jime’) techniques to obtain ‘sashimi-grade’ meat. In many cases, these same practices can also lead to the least suffering of the captured animal.
We hope to spread the message as widely as possible that fish are sentient beings that should be treated with respect. However, if you think it’s OK to eat them, at least honour them by gently farming/capturing them and humanely slaughtering them. It’s not just ethical, it’s the right thing to do. Your customers, the environment & your stomach will thank you for it!
Let us help you chart that new course to collective prosperity
We will always endeavour to not just listen but to truly understand our clients’ needs. We want you to feel seen & heard without having to explain every detail. We work with you to deliver high quality outputs that advance your organisational need as well as those of the aquatic food sector. Our workload is managed very carefully in order to guarantee that each client receives the same amount of commitment, attention and energy.
We hold ourselves to high standards of professionalism. If we feel we cannot carry out certain tasks for any reason whatsoever, or if we have any doubt that the output may be below the required standard, we will let you know right away and work with you to find a suitable alternative solution. We pride ourselves on our approachability and we go above and beyond to ensure client satisfaction. We operate like a charity and do not turn a profit.
Although we strive for excellence, we believe that life is a process of continuous improvement. As such, we will always welcome and in fact, actively encourage honest feedback about what we could have done better. We are so confident in our outputs as well as the relations we maintain with our clients that if you, in any way, feel that we have not delivered in line with your expectations, we pledge to refund you a predetermined percentage of the fees paid.
Ethical Seafood Research offers flexible services at competitive rates and keep high quality communication with clients at all times. We have substantial in-house editing, proofreading and technical writing experience which means that our outputs are generally accepted in high end publications without major revisions. We only partner with third-party providers that have been tried and tested, and operate at high standards.
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