Wild fish suffer in the wild, so it’s better to eat them

The suffering that wild fish endure when caught is extreme and protracted. The rapid change in pressure causes their swim bladders to overinflate, their stomachs and intestines may be forced out through their mouths, and their eyes pushed from their sockets. Those at the bottom of the nets may be crushed to death by the weight of fish on top of them. And fishing has many more victims than we might think. Commercial fishing fleets also kill dolphins, rays, turtles, starfish, sponges and hundreds of thousands of diving seabirds as they also get caught in the nets.

The scale of damage caused by the world’s fishing fleets is enormous. The number of overfished marine populations has tripled in half a century and today one-third of the world’s assessed fisheries are currently pushed beyond their biological limits, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.1

Habitats are also decimated by the industrial fleets of fishing ships. Bottom trawling strip mines the ocean floor, destroying deep-sea coral forests and other delicate ecosystems. And half of the plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch actually comes from the fishing industry.2 If we want to see plastic-free oceans, we need to stop eating commercially-caught fish.

We know nature is not always kind and that fish – like all animals – can suffer in the wild but the scale and severity of the pain caused by humans is enormous, and all for a product we do not need to eat. We can choose faux fish fillets, tuna and shrimp whereas other sea creatures have no choice but to eat fish.

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