New investigation revealing horrific harpoon fishing practices
6 August 2020
Every summer in the Strait of Messina, the feluccas (typical swordfish fishing boats) set sail to catch the fish whose meat is sold to fishmongers and restaurants. Although it is considered a more sustainable method than industrial fishing, as there is no unwanted bycatch of other species, harpoon fishing causes serious suffering. This year Essere Animali was on board documenting the horrific practices.
After being pierced with the harpoon, swordfish struggle in vain to free themselves. Once hoisted onto the boat, their flesh is cut in several places with a knife while they are still alive to facilitate the extraction of the spearhead. This procedure causes extreme and prolonged pain to the swordfish.
After being caught, the swordfish are frequently doused with water. The purpose of this procedure is to keep them alive as long as possible to ensure the freshness of their meat; it does not bring any relief to the animals.
Death comes as a result of asphyxiation after several long minutes of agony, during which the fish remains conscious and gasps for breath, its body riddled with wounds.
The post ‘New investigation revealing horrific harpoon fishing practices’ is modified from an article published by Essere Animali in their original language.