MEDIA RELEASE: Over 250 Organizations Unite to Launch First Ever Respect for Fish Day on August 1

MEDIA RELEASE: Over 250 Organizations Unite to Launch First Ever Respect for Fish Day on August 1

San Rafael, CA (July 22, 2020) –  In Defense of Animals and a diverse group of more than 250 organizations are launching a groundbreaking initiative for the planet’s most abused animals on August 1st, 2020. The first ever Respect for Fish Day will address many concerns about the exploitation of fish species, the dangers of aquaculture and animal cruelty, and aims to affect changes in consumption and policy.

Fish are the single most abused group of animals across the globe. Trillions are killed every year by the food industry, the pet and aquarium trades, in laboratories, and for blood sports. Despite conclusive scientific evidence that fish suffer, they are excluded from many laws that would give them even a modicum of protection, including the Animal Welfare Act, the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, and the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act. Many states also exempt fish from their cruelty laws, or exempt standard fishing practices from compliance with them.

The aim of Respect for Fish Day is to change this by making the general public and lawmakers appreciate the fact that fish are deserving of the same compassion and protection granted to any other animal, and that as consumers, we all have the opportunity to change the world for fish. 

“We hope this campaign will lay a foundation for future efforts to protect fish and help organizations incorporate action for fish into their campaign portfolios. As momentum builds, the public perception of fish will improve and there will be greater support for legislation to restrict their exploitation,” said Shimon Shuchat, In Defense of Animals head coordinator for Respect for Fish Day

“There is certainly a lot of work to do,” he added. 

This year, Respect for Fish Day is particularly timely. Despite global calls to end overfishing, on May 7, President Trump signed an executive order that seeks to deregulate the seafood industry and fast-track the approval process for concentrated fish farms, which will have devastating consequences for fish and the environment. 

“In a world with ever-growing public awareness of the ills of factory farming, we should be working toward greater transparency and public scrutiny, not less,” said Schilling, In Defense of Animals campaign director for farmed animals.

Over 250 wildlife rescues, health organizations, animal shelters, and advocacy organizations have joined In Defense of Animals to support Respect For Fish Day including HSUS, PETA, Animal Legal Defense Fund, World Animal Protection, Mercy for Animals, Animal Equality, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the Animal Save Movement. Corporate partners include One Green Planet, VegNews and Good Catch.

A full list of allies can be viewed here

To learn more about Respect for Fish Day, visit


Shimon Shuchat, [email protected], (387) 486-0048

Nadia Schilling, [email protected] 


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In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 37-year history of protecting animals’ rights, welfare and habitats through education, campaigns and hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi.


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