Animal Aid

Fish: The Forgotten Victims

Posted 10 January 2011

Celebrity chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is turning his attention to fish. The Big Fish Fight, which starts Tuesday 11 January on Channel 4, will see TV chefs investigating the devastating effects of the fishing industry on marine life and the oceans themselves. Some poignant facts include: for every wild fish that lands on your plate, another was thrown away; for every prawn cocktail, four more dishes of sea creatures pulled from the North Atlantic and discarded.

Unfortunately, instead of calling for a ban on the plundering of the oceans, these programmes will probably try to reassure the viewer by offering a list of 'sustainable' species that can be put on the 'fish-to-eat' guide. But those species now on the unsustainable and depleted lists were also once regarded as plentiful. Where will we stop?

The best scientific evidence demonstrates that fish are capable of feeling pain and stress like any other animal killed for human consumption yet no welfare standards exist for the handling and killing of ocean-caught fish...and farmed fish fare no better. When hauled up from the deep, fish die from crushing, suffocation or from being sliced open on the decks of the ship. If you really care, the only solution is to stop eating fish altogether.

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