I'm doing some research and advocacy for the humane treatment of wild-caught fish. Humane standards are more common on fish farms than at sea, so I am trying to identify some reasonable standards for what might be considered humane and also feasible for companies to carry out. One possible method of slaughter is killing fish through cold water exposure. Below is an exact quote from a representative at a commercial fishing company (which I won't name since I don't have the person's permission to share this quote yet). I would like to know if what the person describes might be considered humane. It's unclear to me whether these fish are actually dying of hypothermia, or if it's 'cold shock' or 'live-freezing.' I'm not even sure whether these three things are distinct phenomena, or different names for the same process.
"In regards to our fish, they are all dispatched in a method to reduce waste and limit stresses to the fish during it’s transition. A fish left flopping on the deck ruins it’s meat and stresses the fish out enough to change the flavor of the meat. We move the fish from the ocean directly into sub-freezing temperatures. In the case of tuna, that means a refrigerated seawater tank, with the salmon it’s a slurry of seawater and ice. Sardines are scooped out of the ocean in large nets and deposited into tanks of refrigerated seawater. The cause of death is hypothermia and has been shown to have a calming effect on the fish for the brief seconds before they pass."