World Day for the End of Fishing 2023

24 Mar 2023

Each year, the World Day for the End of Fishing highlights the devastating impact of fishing and fish farming on the trillions of individual aquatic animals raised, caught and killed by the industry every year.

Vegan Australia supports the World Day for the End of Fishing (25 March 2023) to help raise awareness of this horrific slaughter. The rights of aquatic animals are often overlooked, in favour of land farmed animals such as cows, pigs, chickens and sheep. It's time to take the interests of aquatic animals into account.

The ocean fishing industry is one of the most destructive and exploitative industries in the world, causing immense suffering to marine animals. Fishing has become a major threat to marine life, with overfishing and destructive practices leading to a decline in fish populations and the destruction of marine ecosystems. Fish are sentient beings capable of feeling pain and experiencing emotions, yet they are treated as mere commodities to be caught, killed, and consumed. Fishing practices often involve the use of cruel and inhumane methods, such as trawling and longlining, which result in the indiscriminate killing of countless fish and other marine animals.

Suffering is not just confined to the catching of wild fish. The global demand to consume fish has led to the mass production of fish farms (aquaculture). Fish raised in these farms suffer from overcrowding, poor water quality and the spread of disease among the fish.. The inherent cruelty of this industry in confining and manipulating living beings for human consumption cannot be justified.

The scientific community generally agrees that fish are capable of experiencing pain. Although fish lack a centralised brain structure analogous to the mammalian cerebral cortex, which is involved in processing pain sensation in mammals, they do possess nociceptors, specialised sensory receptors that respond to noxious stimuli, including potential threats to their survival. Furthermore, fish exhibit observable changes in behaviour and physiology when subjected to noxious stimuli, such as struggling, attempting to escape, and releasing stress hormones, which suggests that they are capable of experiencing pain.

Several scientific studies have also shown that fish possess cognitive abilities and complex social behaviours that were previously thought to be exclusive to mammals, indicating that they are not just passive creatures but sentient beings capable of experiencing a wide range of emotions and sensations.

In light of this evidence, it is important to recognise that fish are not merely objects to be used, but living beings that deserve to be treated with respect and justice.

As we approach the World Day for the End of Fishing 2023, let's take a moment to reflect on the impact of our choices on marine life and the planet. Let's work together to promote a sustainable and just future for all living beings. By choosing to live vegan, we can make a positive change and create a world that is kinder, more compassionate, and more just for all.

Demand an end to fishing and aquaculture farms!

Photo credit: Jón Helgi Jónsson

Vegan Australia is an animal rights organisation that campaigns nationally for veganism. 
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