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Fishing

Fishing kills billions of individuals every year. It's practically impossible to give specific data on the deaths caused by this practice, since fishes are counted by the tonne and not by the individual. Each fish is an individual with a distinct personality who wants to enjoy their life in freedom and without suffering.

 

Sentient beings?

 

In spite of the initial differences that we can see between fish and other animals (which causes many people to think that they are not capable of feeling), the truth is that there is a great quantity of scientific data which confirms that fishes are anatomically, biologically, and physically just as capable of experiencing suffering and enjoyment as birds, reptiles and mammals. Fishes have nervous systems which cause them to feel pain and enjoyment and respond to sources of pain. Furthermore, just like other animals, they have neurotransmitters similar to endorphins – our body’s response to suffering, and whose only reason for being is to alleviate pain – which clearly demonstrates that fishes are individuals with interests. In spite of this, millions of them die unjustly victims of the fishing industry and sports fishing.

 

Commercial fishing

 

Commercial 'fishing' kills million of animals every year, in fact it is probably the form of animal abuse which slaughters most animals. Nowadays commercial fishing is carried out by large fishing vessels capable of locating shoals of fish from several kilometres away. The fishes die a painful death, suffocated when they are pulled out of their marine environment by huge the nets which drag them to the surface. Commercial fishing doesn’t only harm fish. The nets also trap thousands of other marine animals such as other fish, whales, sharks, turtles etc. which are thrown back into the sea dead or so badly hurt that survival is practically impossible.

 

'Fish Farms'

 

Fish farms are found on land (where fishes are kept in huge tanks) or in the sea (where fish populations are permanently enclosed by nets), but either way the fishes suffer enormously due to the enclosures they find themselves submitted to when they want to move freely, and the crowded conditions caused by the fish being packed closely together. Often, due to the devastation caused by commercial fishing (an estimated 90% of large fish populations have been exterminated in the last 50 years), they exploit fishes in such enclosed farms as a solution, ignoring that those who are born and die in these farms are also individuals with their own interests. We shouldn’t forget that this concern about the devastation of our oceans is really a concern about the depletion of the 'resources' within them – they want to make sure fishes are available for human consumption. Those who promote fish farms consider the fishes as food. Killing others to eat them is unjust, regardless of where it’s carried out.

 

Angling

 

This is often considered an idyllic pastime, whiling away hours on a peaceful river bank, or at sea. But the truth is that 'fishing' for sport, just like other forms of fishing, is not very idyllic for those fishes who fall victim to it. Fishes caught in this way suffocate when they are pulled from the water and suffer a serious mutilation from the hook which catches in one of the most sensitive parts of the mouth. Returning them to the water after catching them is also condemning them, since, just as with commercial fishing, the majority die from the wounds inflicted on them. Respecting all beings capable of feeling includes respecting fishes. So-called vegetarian diets which include eating fishes condemn thousands of individuals to certain death. It is possible to enjoy our lives without hurting others - and allowing them to enjoy theirs.