New Statistics Show Staggering Numbers of Aquatic Animals Killed for Food in Canada

According to recently released statistics from Animal Justice, over 10.2 billion aquatic animals were killed by Canadian fisheries and fish farms in 2021, over twelve times more than the number of land animals killed each year. Since the government only measures killed aquatic animals by collective weight, the organization calculated a rough estimate of the number of individuals killed by dividing the total landing weight of each species by the average weight of an individual member of that species. Animal Justice’s estimate does not include bycatch—fish and other ocean wildlife who are not the target of a fishery but who are caught and generally discarded in the fishing process––which may nearly double the number of lives lost to the commercial fishing industry. It also excludes “ghost gear,” nets and other fishing gear, which continue to catch aquatic animals after being lost or abandoned.