From the bass desperately trying to escape the pain of the hook as he is reeled in, to the pollock tumbling endlessly in a trawler's net, to the tuna struggling for hours with a hook in her throat attached to miles of line with thousand of hooks, billions of fish suffer at our hands every year.
But things are looking up for fish as more and more people are choosing alternatives to fishing and eating fish. Hiking, wildlife watching, and a vegetarian diet are among the many choices that are better for us, the animals, and the environment.
"The pain system in fish is virtually the same as in birds and mammals."
---Dr. Donald Broom, professor of animal welfare, Cambridge University
While fish cannot always express pain and suffering in ways that humans can easily recognize, common sense (as well as marine biologists) tells us that fish feel pain. Fish may not be cute and cuddly like puppies and kittens, but they suffer and experience pain in very much the same way.
Fish suffer from being impaled, thrown, crushed, or mutilated while alive, and they are often left to die slowly and painfully of suffocation. (continued)
The Environment & Fishing
Countless birds and other animals suffer, and many die, from injuries caused by swallowing or becoming entangled in discarded fishing hooks, monofilament line, and lead weights. While in our oceans, billions of non-target animals such as sea turtles, dolphins, sea birds, and seals, die horrible deaths in commercial fishing nets every year. (continued)
Eating Fish is Dangerous
Like the flesh of other animals, fish flesh contains excessive amounts of protein, fat, and cholesterol.
Fish (and shellfish) can accumulate extremely high levels of toxins (as much as 9 million times that of the water in which they live) such as PCBs, dioxins, mercury, lead, and arsenic, which can cause health problems ranging from kidney damage and impaired mental development to cancer and even death. Fish oil capsules may also contain harmful contaminants. Omega-3, thought to be helpful in fighting heart disease, can be found in flaxseed and linseed oils and in leafy, green vegetables. (continued)