At some point or another, we’ve all cringed at the videos: lame cows struggling to stand; egg-laying hens squeezed into small, stacked cages; hogs confined to gestation crates, unable to walk or turn.

Over the past decade, animal advocates have made great strides informing us of some of the problems with how many of our favorite proteins are raised. They’ve also made progress bringing change to the industry by pressuring large-scale retailers — from Target to McDonald’s — to commit to sourcing livestock raised with higher welfare standards. But one important protein source has been missing almost entirely from the conversation: seafood.

Mercy for Animals, a U.S.-based animal welfare group, says that’s about to change. The group says it is beginning to lay the groundwork for a campaign that will target the aquaculture industry and shine a light on the conditions in which finfish like salmon, tilapia, catfish, trout, pangasius and other species are raised.

“More and more fish are being farmed in intense factory farms,” says Nick Cooney, executive vice president at Mercy for Animals. “At the same time, there’s an increasing amount of research discovering just how intelligent and social fish are as individuals.”

Do consumers care? Mercy for Animals’ own in-house studies suggest yes — and offer a roadmap of the objections the group is likely to raise with the aquaculture industry. Concerns like too many fish routinely crammed into pens and tanks, fish being raised in dirty water, high disease and mortality rates.

The group, a vegan organization, also cites slaughter methods it finds most inhumane — like letting fish suffocate in open air, chilling them while still alive, or cutting their gills without stunning. And then there’s the parasites known as sea lice, which feed on farmed salmon, costing the industry nearly $1 billion a year in losses.

“For individual consumers, our goal is simply to educate them on the way these animals are being treated,” says Cooney. “Our research studies have found that when people learn about these things — that half the fish being used in the food industry are coming from factory farms, or are confined in tanks with dirty water; that sea lice eats away the flesh and faces of fish — that educating them leads to more compassionate choices. And for large companies, our hope in the coming years is that if we show them their customers care, they’ll eliminate the worst practices in their supply chains.”

Mercy for Animals may have one important thing going for it — timing.