“I’m a vegetarian, but I eat fish.” Have you ever heard this phrase? I’ve always wanted to ask those who say that, what do they think of fish? They consider it something like a vegetable like a carrot or a cauliflower!
Poor fish have always been subjected to the most rude treatment, and I’m sure it’s because someone got the brilliant idea that fish don’t feel pain. Think about it. Fish have a liver and stomach, blood, eyes and ears – in fact, most of the internal organs, just like us – but the fish does not feel pain? Then why does she need a central nervous system that transmits impulses to and from the brain, including the feeling of pain. Of course, the fish feels pain, which is part of the survival mechanism. Despite the fish’s ability to feel pain, there are no restrictions or rules on how to kill them. You can do whatever you want with her. In most cases, the fish are killed by cutting open the belly with a knife and releasing the entrails, or they are thrown into boxes where they suffocate. To learn more about fish, I once went on a trawler trip and was shocked by what I saw. I learned a lot of terrible things, but the worst thing was what happened to the flounder, a large, flat fish with orange flecks. She was thrown into a box with other fish and an hour later I could literally hear them dying. I told this to one of the sailors, who, without hesitation, began to beat her with a club. I thought it was better than dying of suffocation and assumed the fish was dead. After six hours, I noticed that their mouths and gills were still opening and closing due to lack of oxygen. This torment lasted ten hours. Various methods of catching fish were invented. On the ship I was on, there was a big heavy trawl net. Heavy weights held the net to the bottom of the sea, clanging and grinding as they moved across the sand and killed hundreds of living organisms. When a caught fish is lifted out of the water, its innards and eye cavities can burst due to pressure differences. Very often the fish “sinks” because there are so many of them in the net that the gills cannot contract. In addition to fish, many other animals enter the net – including starfish, crabs and shellfish, they are thrown back overboard to die. There are some fishing rules – mostly they relate to the size of the nets and who and where can fish. These rules are introduced by individual countries in their coastal waters. There are also rules for how many and what kind of fish you can catch. They’re called quota for fish. It may seem that these rules regulate the amount of fish caught, but in fact there is nothing like that. This is a crude attempt to determine how many fish are left. In Europe, fish quotas work like this: take cod and haddock, for example, because they usually live together. When the net is cast, if cod is caught, then haddock too. But the captain sometimes hides the illegal haddock catch in secret places on the ship. Most likely, this fish will then be thrown back into the sea, but there is one problem, this fish will already be dead! Presumably, forty percent more fish than the established quota die in this way. Unfortunately, it’s not just haddock that suffers from these insane regulations, but any kind of fish caught in the quota system. In the world’s large open oceans or in the coastal areas of poor countries, fisheries are poorly controlled. In fact, there are so few rules that such a type of fishing has appeared as BIOMASS FISHING. With this method of fishing, a very dense thin net is used, which catches every living creature, not even a single small fish or crab can escape from this net. Anglers in the South Seas have a new and extremely disgusting way of catching sharks. It consists in the fact that the caught sharks are cut off the fins while they are still alive. The fish are then thrown back into the sea to die of shock. This happens to 100 million sharks every year, all for the shark fin soup served in Chinese restaurants around the world. Another common method, which involves the use purse seine. This seine envelops large flocks of fish and not one can escape. The net is not very dense and therefore small fish can slip out of it, but so many adults remain in the net and those who manage to escape cannot breed fast enough to recover the losses. It is sad, but it is with this type of fishing that dolphins and other marine mammals often get into the nets. Other types of fishing, including a method in which hundreds baited hooks attached to a fishing line stretching for several kilometers. This method is used on rocky seashores that can break the net. Explosives and poisonous substances, such as bleaching liquid, are part of the fishing technology that kills many more animals than fish. Probably the most destructive way of fishing is using drift network. The net is made of thin but strong nylon and is almost invisible in the water. She is called “wall of death“because so many animals get entangled in it and die – dolphins, small whales, fur seals, birds, rays and sharks. They are all thrown away because the fishermen only catch tuna. About a million dolphins die each year in drift nets because they cannot rise to the surface to breathe. Drift nets are now used all over the world and, more recently, they have appeared in the UK and Europe, where the length of the net must be no more than 2.5 kilometers. In the open spaces of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, where there is very little control, the length of the networks can reach 30 or even more kilometers. Sometimes these nets break during a storm and float around, killing and maiming animals. In the end, the net, overflowing with dead bodies, sinks to the bottom. After a while, the bodies decompose and the net rises to the surface again to continue the senseless destruction and destruction. Every year, commercial fishing fleets catch about 100 million tons of fish, many of the individuals caught do not have time to reach the age of sexual maturity, so the resources in the ocean do not have time to replenish. Every year the situation worsens. Every time someone like the United Nations Food and the Agricultural Organization is reminded of the damage being done again, these warnings are simply ignored. Everyone knows that the seas are dying, but no one wants to do anything to stop fishing, too much money can be lost. Since the end of World War II, the oceans have been divided into 17 fishing areas. According to the Agricultural Organization, nine of them are now in a state of “catastrophic decline in some species.” The other eight areas are in much the same condition, mainly due to overfishing. International Council for the Study of the Seas (ICES) – the world’s leading expert in the field of seas and oceans – is also very concerned about the current situation. The huge mackerel swarms that used to inhabit the North Sea are now all but extinct, according to ICES. ICES also warns that in five years, one of the most common species in European seas, cod, will soon disappear altogether. There is nothing wrong with all this if you like jellyfish, because only they will survive. But what’s even worse is that in most cases, animals caught in the sea do not end up on the table. They are processed into fertilizers or made into shoe polish or candles. They are also used as feed for farm animals. Can you believe it? We catch a lot of fish, process it, make pellets and feed it to other fish! To grow a pound of fish on a farm, we need 4 pounds of wild fish. Some people think that farming fish is the solution to the problem of ocean extinction, but it’s just as destructive. Millions of fish are caged in coastal waters, and mango trees growing along the coast are cut down in huge numbers to make way for a farm. In places like the Philippines, Kenya, India and Thailand, more than 70 percent of mango forests have already disappeared and are being cut down. Mango forests are inhabited by various life forms, more than 2000 different plants and animals live in them. They are also where 80 percent of all marine fish on the planet breed. Fish farms that appear on the site of mango plantations pollute the water, cover the seabed with food debris and excrement, which destroys all life. The fish are kept in overcrowded cages and become susceptible to disease and are given antibiotics and insecticides to kill parasites such as sea lice. A few years later, the environment is so polluted that the fish farms are moved to another place, the mango plantations are again cut down. In Norway and the UK, mainly in the fjords and Scottish lakes, fish farms grow Atlantic salmon. Under natural conditions, salmon swim freely from narrow mountain rivers to the Atlantic depths of Greenland. The fish is so strong that it can jump in waterfalls or swim against a rushing current. People tried to drown out these instincts and keep these fish in huge numbers in iron cages. The fact that the seas and oceans are in decline, only people are to blame. Just imagine what happens to birds, seals, dolphins and other animals that eat fish. They are already fighting for survival, and their future looks rather bleak. So maybe we should leave the fish for them?