In fish, kittens of the sea, you learned that fish are intelligent, and feel pain. So doesn't it make sense that fish should be spared from suffering?

A fishes lip is like yor hand-you use it to feel, and grasp things. Fingers (and the bottom of your feet) have more nerves than any part of your body (which is irrritating, because that is where you get fingerpricks!) The same is true of a fishes lip. Besides this, the fish is yanked out of the water, into an area where he can't breathe, and then is manhanded, injured, and often killed. Sometimes fish are left to suffocate! Even catch and release fishing is bad. Besides the terrible shock, the protective slime coating is removed, and the fish is succeptable to parasites and disease. The fish are often injured. 43% of caught and relesed fish die within 3 days. When deep water ocean fish are pulled up, they quickly decompress, causing their eyes to pop out and swim bladders to explode. These fish inevitably die.

While the numbers continue to decline compared to decades ago, more than 29 million people still went fishing in 2006, spending billions of dollars on their "hobby." According to a Florida State University study, sport fishers are responsible for killing almost 25 percent of overfished saltwater species. Many trout streams are so intensively fished that they require that all fish caught be released; the fish in these streams may spend their entire lives being repeatedly traumatized and injured. One 40+ year old carp, Two-Tonne, had been caught over 50 times before his death by old age.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, "More than one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals die each year due to eating and entanglement in fishing line, nets, etc." The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that discarded fishing line is the number one killer of adult brown pelicans, although one Audubon biologist says that "pretty much every type of water or shore bird can get caught up in fishing line …. We find dead cormorants, anhingas, herons, egrets, roseate spoonbills … you name it."

One out of every five manatee rescues conducted in the 1980s and 1990s was related to fishing-line entanglement, and during a four-year span, at least 35 dolphins died from injuries that they sustained as a result of being tangled in fishing line.

Like other animals' flesh, the flesh of sea animals contains high amounts of fat and cholesterol. "Seafood" is one of the most common causes of food poisoning in the U.S, and almost 7 million Americans are believed to be allergic to it.

Fish flesh (including shellfish) can accumulate extremely high levels of carcinogenic chemical residues, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The flesh of farmed salmon has seven times more PCBs than the flesh of wild-caught salmon. Fish farms shoot native birds to prevent them from "dropping" in pens, and millions of wild fish are caught to feed farmed fish. By 2050, the worlds ocean will have been depleted of fish stocks.

According to The New England Journal of Medicine, fish "are the main if not the only source of methyl mercury," a substance that has been linked to cardiovascular disease, fetal brain damage, blindness, deafness, and problems with motor skills, language, and attention span. The Environmental Protection Agency and the FDA warn women of child-bearing age and children to refrain from eating fish such as shark, swordfish, and mackerel and to consume fewer than 12 ounces a week of other fish flesh because of mercury levels. Of course, the best way to avoid the dangers of mercury is to not eat fish at all.

How You Can Help

Go vegetarian! The average veg. saves 100 animals (including 40 fish) a year! PETA will send you a free veg starter kit if you go to their site with lots of yummy recipies. Also, since pigs, cows etc are fed fish, you'll save hundreds of fish from cruelty! Factory farms also produce millions of tons of waste each year, poisoining many wild fish.

  • Before you support a "wildlife" or "conservation" group, ask about its position on fishing. Groups such as the National Wildlife Federation, the National Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, the Izaak Walton League, the Wilderness Society, the World Wildlife Fund, and many others either support or do not oppose sport fishing.
  • To combat fishing in your area, post No-fishing signs on your land if you have a pond or a lake, join or form an anti-fishing organization, and protest tornuments.
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