Sinergia Animal is an international animal advocacy organisation that works to improve the welfare of animals through corporate outreach, undercover investigations, and campaigns for reductions in meat consumption. They currently operate in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Thailand, and Indonesia.
Sinergia Animal were selected as one of the first organisations to collaborate with Animal Ask in our pilot programme in December 2020. For our pilot programme, we were looking for organisations to work with that were considering an up-and-coming ask. Sinergia Animal were looking to advocate for fish welfare in South East Asia and identified themselves as a good pilot participant due to their desire for additional research in forming their first fish ask.
Sinergia Animal’s requirements were relatively broad, stating that they required support with the formation of a fish welfare ask for a corporate campaign aimed at either the retail sector or at producers directly. The ask needed to work for two target countries (not disclosed at present due to ongoing tactic planning) and we had a timeline of six months to complete the research. The focus of the campaign was to achieve the greatest possible positive impact for fish.
In order to have the greatest impact for fish overall, and due to the many differences in the requirements of different species, we selected target species to focus our research on. The species were selected based on data which indicated the number of different fish farmed in the target countries.
Based on the production numbers and the brief to impact the most fish lives, we decided to focus our research on Nile tilapia, Clarias catfishes, Pangasius catfishes, milkfish, and common carp. We recognise that some of these terms encompass multiple specific species (e.g. ‘Pangasius catfishes’ includes Pangasius bocourti, Pangasius hypophthalmus etc.). Where relevant, indicated which specific species was investigated in the studies.
There are other fish species, such as silver barb, which are farmed in large numbers in the target countries. We focused on just five species during our research as these cover the majority of farmed fish in both countries and reviewing the evidence for each ask for every farmed species would take significant resources. Depending on specific details, a fish welfare ask in our target countries could also be appropriate for other species outside of the five we focused on.
The initial list of potential asks contained 54 different asks.
In round one we examined each ask using our four methodologies; weighted factor model, expert view, cost effectiveness analysis and informed consideration. Following the systematic rankings obtained from the research, we eliminated 32 ideas. In round two we examined the remaining 22 asks in greater depth using the same four methodologies as round one. Based on the outcomes of this analysis, we identified four priority asks to write extensive reports on: stocking density, water quality, slaughter, and management practices.
Some of these were highlighted as potential foundations for an ask while others, namely management practices, were examined as a possible addition to a composite ask. The full list of ideas and reasoning for elimination at each stage is available by request.
In our final extensive reports we found strong arguments for improving elements of water quality and stocking density and mildly promising arguments for management practices at a later stage, as well as a slaughter ask once more data is available for the target species. Each ask could potentially be very impactful. However, which one looks better in expectation depends on how you weigh the evidence or likelihood of certain outcomes.
Our conclusion is best summarised based on the uncertainties or judgement calls that would lead you to favour one ask or the other.
Please find the full summary here.