Fish

 

Fish Industry

We are living on the planet as if we have another one to go to...

A major source of suffering for salmon and other farmed fish is the abundant presence of sea lice, which thrive in the filthy water. These lice create open lesions and sometimes eat down to the bones on a fish’s face.

Initially, aquaculture presented itself as a solution to the depletion of wild fish populations. But far from reducing demand for wild salmon, as some had claimed, salmon farming actually fueled the international exploitation of and demand for wild salmon.

A 75-centimeter-long farmed salmon spend their lives in the equivalent of a bathtub of water and that the animals’ eyes bleed from the intensity of the pollution.

Often the fish will be slaughtered while conscious and convulse in pain as they die. In other cases, they may be stunned, but current stunning methods are unreliable and can lead to some animals suffering more.

The welfare issues associated with fish farms, details six “key stressors in the their environment”: “water quality,” “crowding,” “handling,” “disturbance,” “nutrition,” and “hierarchy.” To translate into plain language, those six sources of suffering for salmon are: (1) water so fouled that it makes it hard to breathe; (2) crowding so intense that animals begin to cannibalize one another; (3) handling so invasive that physiological measures of stress are evident a day later; (4) disturbance by farmworkers and wild animals; (5) nutritional deficiencies that weaken the immune system; and (6) the inability to form a stable social hierarchy, resulting in more cannibalization.

Commercial Fishing

Without oceans life on earth cannot exist...

There are Three methods which are dominant for wild-caught fish: longline fishing, trawling, and the use of purse seines.

Longline

There are millions of animal species, but man is the only animal capable of destroying them all...

A longline look something like a telephone line running through the water suspended by buoys rather than poles. At periodic intervals along this main line, smaller “branch” lines are strung, each branch line bristling with hooks. Now picture not just one of these multihook longlines, but dozens or hundreds deployed one after the other by a single boat. GPS locators and other electronic communication gear are attached to the buoys so that fishers can return to them later. And, of course, there is not one boat deploying longlines, but dozens, hundreds, or even thousands in the largest commercial fleets. Longlines today can reach 120 kilometers, that’s enough line to cross the English Channel more than three times.

An estimated 27 million hooks are deployed every day. And longlines don’t kill just their “target species,” but 145 others as well. One study found that roughly 4.5 million sea animals are killed as bycatch in longline fishing every year, including roughly 3.3 million sharks, 1 million marlins, 60,000 sea turtles, 75,000 albatrosses, and 20,000 dolphins and whales.

Trawling

We know more about the surface of the moon, than we do about the ocean floor...

Even longlines, though, don’t produce the immense bycatch associated with trawling. The most common type of modern shrimp trawler sweeps an area roughly twenty-five to thirty meters wide. The trawl is pulled along the ocean bottom at 4.5 to 6.5 km/h for several hours, sweeping shrimp (and everything else) into the far end of a funnel-shaped net. Trawling, almost always for shrimp, is the marine equivalent of clear-cutting rain forest.

Whatever they target, trawlers sweep up fish, sharks, rays, crabs, squid, scallops — typically about a hundred-different fish and other species. Virtually all die. There is something quite sinister about this scorched-earth style of “harvesting” sea animals.

The average trawling operation throws 80 to 90 percent of the sea animals it captures as bycatch overboard. The least efficient operations actually throw more than 98 percent of captured sea animals, dead, back into the ocean.

Trawling and longline fishing aren’t only ecologically worrisome; they are also cruel. In trawlers, hundreds of different species are crushed together, gashed on corals, bashed on rocks, for hours, and then hauled from the water, causing painful decompression (the decompression sometimes causes the animals’ eyes to pop out or their internal organs to come out their mouths).

On longlines, too, the deaths animals face is generally slow. Some are simply held there and die only when removed from the lines. Some die from the injury caused by the hook in their mouths or by trying to get away. Some are unable to escape attack by predators.

Purse Seines

The earth is not dying, it is being killed...

Purse seines, the final fishing method is used for catching, tuna. A net wall is deployed around a school of target fish, and once the school is encircled, the bottom of the net is pulled together as if the fishers were tugging on a giant purse string.

The trapped target fish and any other creatures in the vicinity are then winched together and hauled onto the deck. Fish tangled in the net may be slowly pulled apart in the process.

Most of these sea animals, though, die on the ship itself, where they will slowly suffocate or have their gills cut while conscious. In some cases, the fish are tossed onto ice, which can actually prolong their deaths, fish die slowly and painfully over a period as long as fourteen minutes. No fish gets a good death. Not a single one. You never have to wonder if the fish on your plate had to suffer. It did.