VEGA News Item

Fishing for Compliments in the FAWC's Net - 13/04/2005
Our plea for extension of the Farm Animal Welfare Council'sresponsibilities to include all livestock hunted and farmed for human consumption and use and inclusion on the Food Standards Agency's plate to ask election candidates, too.
we are asking the FAWC to extend its concerns to the welfare of fish taken for food, feed, fertilizer, supplements, and manufacturing purposes from inshore waters and free-range/ wild caught fish, as well as on the deep seas, (including those fish taken outside the EU’s territorial waters).

Cruelties perpetrated on these animals are as severe as those suffered by battery-reared farmed fish- or more so. Further, alternatives exist that could obviate the demands for these depredations. Well-informed education of the government, industry, and consumers, supported by informative labelling, presents the FAWC with an apt purpose that nicely extends and complements its deliberations on the welfare of farmed fish, which were last reported on in 1996. In some instances harm arises from mingling of farmed fish and wild, caught fish, and farmed salmon for instance, are suffering production diseases common as metabolic syndrome in the human population and attributed to the familiar causes of bad husbandry, feeding, and lack of exercise due to limitation of space and natural foraging.

Current fishing methods and harvesting of wild-caught species are to a level of exploitation that goes beyond nature’s ability to replenish wild populations. Other considerations are of the types of methods used to catch wild-caught fish, pair-trawling (used in the English Channel) and bottom trawling are examples of highly destructive fishing methods threatening large numbers of marine animals including seabirds to the point of extinction. Most commercial fishing practices result in the by-catch of non-target marine species that are endangered and/or of no commercial interest, such as sharks, cetaceans, sea birds and turtles.

To emphasize the high level of killing and waste of marine animal life, over a hundred million sharks are caught as by-catch annually, along with three hundred thousand cetaceans yearly by methods such as pair trawling, pelagic and bottom trawling.

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