In this fact sheet: Vegetarians don't eat fish, Fish do feel pain, Fishing harms other wildlife, Industrial fishing is destroying our planet, You can cut out the fish, References
- Fish do feel pain
In this section, scientific evidence as to the ability of sea creatures to feel pain is highlighted. With stocks of wild fish on the decline and at worryingly low levels, some feel one answer is intensive farming, here the plight of farmed fish is covered including the methods used in killing them.
- Fishing harms other wildlife
It’s not just fish that suffer, by-catch is the incidental capture of non target species. It is recognized as a major problem in many parts of the world and estimated that 23% of global fisheries catch is thrown back into the sea dead. Cetaceans, seals and birds are just some of the species affected.
- Industrial fishing is destroying our planet
The fishing industry is responsible for some of the most environmentally damaging practices affecting our seas and oceans today. With numerous species now in danger and stock levels seriously depleted, a 2006 study predicted that all commercial fisheries could die out by 2050. Fish farming causes pollution and endangers wildlife, and also requires the use of wild caught fish to feed those being intensively reared.
- You can cut out the fish
Vegetarians don’t eat fish, but they can enjoy a balanced diet which easily reaches the government’s recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, while also including plenty of complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals. Find out here what’s in fish and the alternatives to oily fish Omega 3 fats.
Vegetarians don't eat fish
Fish may not appear as cute and cuddly as young lambs, however they do feel pain and they do suffer. Vegetarians don’t eat fish and they never have. Individuals who avoid meat but continue to consume fish are known as pescetarians. The number of fish left in the oceans has rapidly declined.
Here are just a few statistics:
Over the last century, the world’s annual fish catch has risen from 18 to over 90 million tonnes. Two-thirds of this is destined for human consumption, with the remainder being fed to livestock (in the form of fishmeal), amongst other uses(1).
The UK alone caught 588,000 tonnes of fish and shellfish in 2008(2).
An estimated 23% of the total catch is discarded (dead) as a result of incidental capture(3).
Almost 50% of fish consumed as food worldwide are now intensively raised on fish farms (known as aquaculture) (1).Meat & seafood are the two most rapidly growing ingredients in the global diet and also two of the most costly in resource use. The fishing industry harvested 141 million tons of seafood globally in 2005, 8 times as much as in 1950 (4).
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), by the year 2030, an additional 37 million tonnes of fish each year will be needed to maintain current levels of fish consumption and to cope with an increased world population of 2 billion more people (5).
Fishing is threatening the world’s populations of whales, dolphins and porpoises, and over-fishing has left species including tuna, plaice, monkfish and cod in danger. Fishing also affects other wildlife such as seals, birds, turtles, mink and otters, along with coral reefs and aquatic plants. The worldwide demand for fish continues to rise and its impact is getting worse.
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