The cries of abused animals result in sympathy and outrage, but fish are often overlooked as they can’t cry out in pain. However, fish can experience fear, pain and stress even though they are silent in their suffering.
From the wild:
When fish are pulled up by nets, many are crushed to death. Others suffer from burst eyes or swim bladders because of a sudden change in pressure as the nets are brought up to the water’s surface. The remaining fish will die a slow death from suffocation eventually. Many non-target animals are also caught accidentally in fishing nets including sea turtles, sharks and dolphins. They are discarded overboard and may suffer injuries or even die.
In addition, overfishing destroys the stability of marine environments. Scientists predict that current fishing rates could cause our oceans to be in a state of collapse by 2050.
From factory farms:
Fish are often raised in overcrowded factory farms filled with disease. These conditions cause stress and depression, pushing some fish to have stunted growth and float lifelessly on the surface. In response to disease, rather than giving them more space, the fish are often given antibiotics. This contributes to antibiotic resistance. Farmed fish also need to eat wild caught fish, which involves using more than what is produced.
In addition, fish can also be bad for your health. Fish can be contaminated with mercury, especially those higher up the food chain such as certain types of tuna.
Fortunately there are a growing selection of alternatives that are not only kinder to fish, but also better for the environment and your health:
- Smashed chickpea salad (can replace tuna)
- Mock fish including: Quorn ‘Fish free fingers’, Gardein ‘Golden fishless filet’, Vegie delights ‘Thai chilli & lime cakes’
And good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds and seaweed. As a supplement flaxseed oil is a good alternative to fish oil.