In Defense of Animals Works to Protect Fish
Fish are one of the most abused groups of animals on the planet. Despite irrefutable scientific evidence that fish feel pain, many animal cruelty laws don’t apply to fish. As a result, they are killed by the trillions in the food sector, the pet trade, laboratories, and blood sports..
On cruel fish farms, fish are confined to ponds of filthy water where they are eaten alive by parasites. Fifty percent of farmed fish are deaf and it can take fish up to nine minutes to die from suffocation.
The commercial fishing industry is similarly barbaric. Wild fish are killed in brutal ways like beheading and suffocation. In addition to extreme animal cruelty, fishing is directly leading to one of the biggest existential problems of modern times — climate change.
Wild fish are also caught for sport and many sustain severe injuries which kill them if they are released. 22% of caught fish have their vision permanently impaired.
If a dog or cat was subjected to this abuse, it would be a felony in many states. But fish are not protected from this type of cruelty. Nearly all states exempt “standard fishing practices” from their animal cruelty laws.
In pet stores, fish languish in hazardous conditions and frequently die from neglect and improper care following purchase. These animals are sourced from the underwater equivalent of puppy mills or are captured from the wild via barbaric methods like cyanide poisoning. Even when fish cruelty is reported, it is rarely prosecuted.
Laboratories subject fish to a range of cruel procedures, such as being force-fed poison and infected with chronic diseases. Fish are genetically modified, making them more susceptible to deadly diseases or deformities.
Fishing and fish farming harms everyone. Nets strangle sea turtles and get caught around the necks of seals, algal blooms create dead zones and suffocate fish, and antibiotics and chemicals pollute the ocean, on top of endless individual suffering. Eating fish also starves animals who rely on them to live, such as orca and seabirds. These are just a few of the many ways that fish farming hurts not only fish, but other marine animals and the environment as well. Healthy, clean oceans are essential for oxygen production, biodiversity, and climate regulation.
What We Do
In Defense of Animals works to increase awareness about fish abuse and promote compassion toward these unique and wonderful beings. We are building up a broad coalition of advocacy groups oriented toward fish issues. We hope to lay a firm foundation for future efforts to protect fish and improve their legal status.
What You Can Do
- Become a fish defender by signing up for an In Defense of Animals membership
- Join us in working to end this unacceptable animal exploitation by joining us for Respect for Fish Day.
- Ask your organization to become an ally for fish.
- Report illegal fishing wherever you see it.
- Take action for fish by signing our active alerts.
- Stop eating fish — our VegGuide can help!
fish are killed every year on fish farms
wild fish are captured and killed every year