Think twice next time you eat fish
When fish are dragged out of the oceans in huge fishing nets, their eyes often pop out of their heads owing to the change in pressure and they suffocate as they are crushed amongst millions of others. On the decks of industrial trawlers, they are frequently gutted alive. Nets the size of football pitches not only catch fish but turtles, dolphins and many other species that are then just tossed over the side, often injured and stressed. Multitudes of creatures become entangled in abandoned nets and die slow and horrible deaths as they vainly try to escape. The ocean floors, so full of wonder and rich in fauna, are being raked bare. Tuna are caught on drag lines and can be pulled for miles, often ripped to shreds in the process. The suffering of fish is now well documented. Scientific enquiry has found that they experience pain and fear just as other animals do. Their slaughter is no less cruel and their deaths no less brutal, although the brutality of humans is a calumny when attributed to the behaviour of brutes.
In industrial farms fish are bred in huge sunken pens like battery cages under water. The fish are unable to swim freely and swim round and round in filthy water until their own time comes to be killed. Disease runs rife in such cramped conditions and they have to be dosed with drugs to kill parasites and keep infection at bay. Does it include the antibiotics that are contributing to antibiotics becoming increasingly ineffective in humans, as Sally Davies, the recent chief doctor in the UK, has gravely warned us? Probably. These diseases often spread to local wild fish, easily killing them as these are not protected by doses of drugs.
Fish farms damage the environment because of the concentrated effluent that is discharged into the surrounding waters. Huge quantities of wild-caught fish are also fed to farmed fish – even herbivorous ones – further plundering the ocean and damaging the environment. Even if wild fish are not gutted while still alive, at best their fate is just left to suffocate. The whole commercial fishing process is totally ungoverned by humane protocols, let alone laws, I remember eating lobsters years ago that were probably boiled alive. I shudder now. How could I have done it? We live in a most wonderful world but we are thoughtlessly destroying it. But then fish are just fish, only in the seas, after all, to provide us with delicious fish dishes.
Within ten years we could be eating lab cultured meat and fish. People say it tastes like the real thing but then it is the real thing. If meantime we want to save this wonderful planet and all its wonderful creatures we need to fast now that the feast may come. Leave the fish in the sea to live their fishy lives.