A recent article by The National Journal estimates that about 20 percent of all fish caught by commercial fisheries is "by-catch," or unwanted animals, swept up in massive trawling nets along with the targeted species. This means animals like sea turtles, seals, small whales, porpoises, dolphins, and sharks are caught and often die.
2. Mercury Levels
Researchers have found that mercury levels in tuna are 10 million times higher than in seawater, with human activities since the Industrial Revolution to blame. Let that sink in for a minute…
The fishing industry is responsible for destruction of vital aquatic ecosystems and irreversible damage to populations of all forms of ocean life. In fact, a startling report from the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London reveals that the number of fish and other aquatic animals dropped 49 percent between 1970 and 2012 primarily due to overfishing.
4. Fish Intelligence
The notion that fish are dumb couldn’t be further from the truth. From recognition of faces to developed communication skills, fish are intelligent beings.
5. Fish Pain
Scientists worldwide have demonstrated that fish not only feel pain but are aware of it and can suffer. Fish even feel pleasure in ways similar to dogs, cats, and other animals.
6. Plastic in Fish
Researchers at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine found that a whopping 25 percent of fish tested had plastic in their guts. This means people who eat fish ingest toxic plastic. Yikes.
7. Factory Farm Cruelty
Like pigs, cows, and chickens, fish on factory farms are confined to overpopulated enclosures. This often results in feces- and bacteria-contaminated water. A study by Royal Society Open Science revealed that farmed fish suffer from severe depression and sometimes “drop out,” or float around lifelessly. So sad.
8. Seafood Workers
The seafood industry is horrible not only for fish, the environment, and your health, but also for workers. Reports have shown that in the U.S. and abroad, seafood workers are exploited and often enslaved. The National Guestworker Alliance, a group representing temporary workers in the U.S., claims that “the exploitative conditions that shackle migrant workers in America are the equivalent of forced labor.” Whether animal or human, no one deserves to be taken advantage of.
The best thing we can do to remove our support from the cruel fishing industry is to leave fish off our plates and switch to a compassionate vegan diet.
Visit ChooseVeg.com for recipes and tips.