Here's Why You Should Care About All Fish, Not Just Dory

In a recent NPR article, ethologist and author Jonathan Balcombe discusses the science behind fish sentience and the extreme cruelties faced by aquatic animals. "Thanks to the breakthroughs in ethology, sociobiology, neurobiology and ecology, we can now better understand what the world looks like to fish."

So many of us grew up eating seafood and fishing in local waterways. We’ve spent little time thinking of the pain we inflict on these creatures.

"We humans kill between 150 billion and over 2 trillion fishes a year. ... And the way they die — certainly in commercial fishing — is really pretty grim. There's a lot of change that would be needed to reflect an improvement in our relationship with fishes,” says Balcombe.

Studies like the one published in Scientific Report that found fish can recognize faces just go to show how intelligent fish are.

In addition to decimating thinking, feeling animals, commercial fishing wreaks havoc on the environment.

Since 1970, overfishing has destroyed half of the world’s sea life. Commercial fishing indiscriminately kills billions of aquatic animals each year. About 20 percent of them are “by-catch,” or animals considered undesirable for human consumption. As a result, approximately 20 billion fish are thrown away like trash each year.

Each of us can help protect animals and the planet by switching to a humane plant-based diet. There’s no question that it’s the most powerful choice we can make.

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