MEDIA RELEASE: Mermaids Make a Splash Advocating Respect for Fish & Clean Oceans
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (July 27, 2023) — In Defense of Animals is excited to announce the winners of its Mermaids Against Fish Farming photo contest that was launched to celebrate the fourth annual Respect for Fish Day on August 1.
This year’s Respect for Fish theme focuses on the harmful impact of fish farming on fish, human health, the environment and wildlife. In Defense of Animals called on merfolk to help raise awareness about this issue through a unique photo contest.
“Respect for Fish Day is all about connecting the dots between humans and fish, and the mermaids did it in style! We all need water to survive, and want to live without pain, fear and suffering. The merfolk community put a positive spin on fish farming harms by advocating for respect for fish and clean water. The mermaids added flair and a lot of fun while sharing a positive message for fish!” said Katie Nolan, General Campaigner at In Defense of Animals.
Merfolk shared photos of themselves or their mer-dogs with the hashtags #MermaidsAgainstFishFarming, #MerfolkforCleanH20 and #RespectforFish on social media.
They competed for:
Underwater apparel by award-winning merstylist and internationally renowned celebrity designer, Deborah Lindquist
Luxury sustainable swimwear made from recycled fishing nets by Summer Love Swimwear
A cash prize of $500
Respect for Fish Day: Mermaids Against Fish Farming contest winners:
1st Place - Mermaid Evi
Mermaid Evi’s stunning submission featured her swimming among a school of fish, highlighting the connection between humans (and in this case mermaids) and fish.
1st Place Prize: A $500 cash prize; Underwater apparel by award-winning merstylist and internationally renowned celebrity designer, Deborah Lindquist; Luxury sustainable swimwear made from recycled fishing nets by Summer Love Swimwear.
“As a mermaid and freediving instructor I am an ocean ambassador,” said Mermaid Evi. “Educating my local community and students from all around the world on ocean pollution as well as advocating for ocean conservation has always been near and dear to my heart. Let's save the oceans by becoming a humarine.”
2nd Place - Mermaid Fantasea
Mermaid Fantasea shared her fin-tastic photo with a beautiful waterfall background and the caption “Mermaids love clean water and healthy fish! So don’t farm fish!”
2nd Prize: Luxury sustainable swimwear made from recycled fishing nets by Summer Love Swimwear
3rd Place - Merdog Tia
3rd Prize: IDA logo bandana
“People don’t always think of fish as animals or even as sentient beings,” says Lisa Levinson, Campaigns Director at In Defense of Animals. “That’s why our Respect For Fish Day is dedicated to raising awareness of the plight of fish and the immense suffering that they face within the pet industry, fishing, and our focus for this year, fish farming.”
Billions of fish are killed each year in fish farming operations who have no protections under existing animal cruelty laws to shield them from the brutal conditions they endure throughout their entire lives living in crowded pens, being transported, and their ultimate death.
Fish farming has significant impacts on the health of humans and the environment as well. Offshore farms often have open-net pens that allow antibiotics, pesticides, and other chemicals to flow freely into the surrounding body of water. The transfer of bacteria and diseases can be detrimental to wild fish populations, and other contaminants cause algal blooms and ocean dead zones. Fish farm nets pose the additional threat of entangling wild animals.
Concerned members of the public are encouraged to get involved: https://idausa.org/respectfish
### NOTES ###
Contact: Katie Nolan, [email protected], (601) 207-0076
Respect for Fish Day focuses on bringing awareness to the plights of fish, which often goes unseen or is misunderstood, and the consequential harms to other animals that come as a result of fish abuse. In the past, Respect For Fish Day has centered around the “pet” trade, fishing and ghost gear.
In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization based in Marin County, California, with over 250,000 supporters and a 40-year history of fighting for animals, people, and the environment through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, California and Mississippi. www.idausa.org