Worldwide, 1,500 billion fish are caught each year, which is more than all other animals combined. In Germany alone there are 978,000 tons per year, including mainly herring, mackerel, shrimp and cod.
Although fish are the most often killed “farm animal” worldwide, there is an exception for them in the animal protection slaughter regulation, as a result of which they must suffer unnecessarily.
In practice, this means that many animals suffocate slowly and painfully. In some cases, they are still cut open and gutted.
The suffering of the fish receives little attention.
We encounter images of abused dogs, anxious mice in test laboratories or the fear-filled eyes of a mink on a fur farm almost every day on video platforms, websites or on social networks.
But the hundred million fish cause less outrage. In his new book “What A Fish Knows”, the ethologist Jonathan Balcome addresses this controversy: “Fish live below our surface of perception and so we do not perceive the suffering of the animals. They practically swim under our radar.“
How we deal with fish is not just irresponsible for the author.
They often die through a loophole in the law without protective measures for stunning and slaughter.
The problem: The fish is a largely unexplored living being and there is no consensus about the pain sensation of the animals. A large number of studies have shown that the animal is able to feel pain like any other living being. These state that fish carry out complex thinking processes and their blood pressure and pulse would increase immensely under stress. In addition, the animals are social and trust their peers and prefer individual members of their flock.
Other studies judge that this is not the case and that the animals do not share our feeling of pain. Because there is no clear state of science, the paragraph in the Animal Welfare Slaughter Ordinance plays such a big role in animal welfare for fish.
So it says in paragraph 1, paragraph 3, number 4:
” The provisions of this ordinance do not apply to large-scale catches of fish, provided that, according to the state of the art, stunning is either not possible or would only be possible with a disproportionate amount of effort “. (see »gesetze-im-internet.de/bundesrecht/tierschlv_2013/otal. pdf).
In commercial fishing, this paragraph is always interpreted to the detriment of fish.
The last agonizing minutes in a fish’s life!
Overall, more than a billion fish and crustaceans are caught in commercial fishing worldwide every year, according to Fish Count, a UK organization. The German fleet alone is lined up with 219,001 tonnes from the seas every year – herring, small pelagic species, mackerel, shrimp and cod are the main victims in this country.
The bodies of the animals are ruthlessly crushed in the nets. Fish that are higher up in the nets suffocate in the air as no anesthetic is required. Some of those who survived the transport of water on board are still processed alive. Other fish are stored and prepared in a state between chilled and still alive.
My comment: 80 percent of the fish on the German market is imported. A third of this comes from illegal fishing.
They are caught in huge nets on the open sea. If they are pulled out of the water, they suffer a painful reduction in pressure. The swim bladder burst and the eyes gush out of the caves due to the enormous internal pressure. Many fish are still alive when cut and gutted.
But the fish also suffer beyond the mass catch. During the fishing process, fish inevitably experience pain, stress and fear of death if they get caught in the hook, are pulled out of the water and are suffocated or gutted while alive.
There are about five million recreational anglers in Germany.
In principle, they are not allowed to kill the animals just for fun without the so-called intention to sell them, but practices that are contrary to animal welfare, such as fishing or “catch and release”, are practiced in disguise.
Prohibitions of particularly cruel fishing methods in the fisheries laws and regulations of the countries do not help if surveillance on lonely shores and on commercial fishing ponds is not possible.
Since 2018 it has been possible to catch fish in EU waters with electricity: electric fishing uses nets with small electrodes attached to them.
Fishing is an insane cruelty to animals. Thanks to overfishing, there will probably be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050.
In the meantime, the oceans have become so polluted and poisoned that fish are considered to be harmful to health.
The only positive thing about overfishing: once all fish have been murdered, none can be barbarously tortured.
My best regards to all, Venus