Devastation of Fish, Whales, Turtles and Other Vulnerable Animals by Ghost Gear Highlighted at 3rd Annual Fish Respect Day – YubaNet
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (July 25, 2022) — More than 250 organizations join In defense of animals on August 1 to celebrate the third year Fish Respect Day. The awareness day highlights the issues facing fish and spreads compassion for them. This year, the focus is on the harmful impact of fishing and ghost gear on fish and other wildlife that share their aquatic habitats and the environment.
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Derelict fishing gear, known as “ghost gear”, is one of the most harmful forms of marine debris and devastates the health of marine species and ecosystems. Ghost gear consists of fishing lines, lures, nets, ropes, traps, and other fishing tackle that gets lost or left behind. This equipment is usually made of durable synthetic materials or metal that remain in the environment for years. In the case of plastic equipment, when it eventually breaks down, it turns into microplastics.
Current estimates of the total amount of ghost gear in the environment vary widely. However, there is consensus that this is a serious problem and likely to be a significant source of ocean plastic pollution. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is studying global gear loss rates to determine the amount, but it will be several years before that is over.
The deadly effects of ghost gear are caused by recreational and commercial fishing in small waterways to the oceans where they affect hundreds of species both in and out of the water. Sea turtles, birds, whales, and many other animals, including threatened and endangered species, become entangled, injured, and suffer slow, painful deaths, usually from suffocation or starvation. Even recreational catch-and-release fishing causes immense physiological damage to fish, often resulting in their death after release.
“We deeply appreciate people who want to get away to nature and enjoy outdoor activities, but fishing causes immense damage to fish, wildlife and ecosystems,” campaigner Julie Massa said. on wild animals In defense of animals. “We hope Respect for Fish Day will inspire more people to rethink fishing and eating fish, and consider how these actions affect these incredible animals and the environments they live in. Whales, turtles, birds and other animals tangled in lost fishing gear serve as an urgent call to action to end the fishing that is emptying the oceans of fish and wildlife. We also aim to draw attention to fishing tournaments that condition children to inflict harm on vulnerable animals and instead encourage participation in safe activities.
Many studies have concluded that fish experience pain and emotions. They are also smarter than we imagined; fish can learn by imitation, count, remember, recognize faces of group members, cooperate and use tools. Despite their considerable abilities, billions of fish are killed around the world every year intentionally and as unintentional “bycatch”.
“Although we don’t frequently encounter fish in their underwater ecosystems, or as we do with land animals, they are some of the most interesting animals on Earth. Fish feel pain and are capable of experiencing emotions. They deserve far more consideration from us than being killed for food or recreation and entertainment,” said Lisa Levinson, director of campaigns for In defense of animals. “Fishing causes obvious suffering to individual fish while ghost gear maims and kills even more animals, pollutes marine environments and damages ecosystems for decades. Fishing lines and hooks left along rivers and shores of lakes are ingested by ducks or tangled around their feet, reducing circulation and causing loss of limbs or even their lives.Wildlife rehabilitators and duck rescues spend thousands of dollars to rescue animals individual due to phantom equipment.
Many states explicitly exempt fish from being protected under their anti-cruelty laws, or exempt standard fishing practices from compliance, despite the pain and suffering they cause. Fish are denied even minor protections under federal law, including the Animal Welfare Act, the Humane Methods of Slaughtering Act, and the Prevention of Cruelty and Torture to Animals Act. animals.
“A lot of time and resources are spent studying ghost gear, but the problem can be solved today by not consuming fish and other marine animals,” said Fleur Dawes, director of communications for In defense of animals. “Respect for Fish Day is a great time to try plant-based alternatives to fish. Choose vegan seafood to save animals, preserve vulnerable species and protect the environment.
The ultimate goal of Fish Respect Day is to encourage people to recognize fish as sentient beings deserving of the same compassion, understanding and protection given to any other animal. As consumers and citizens, we all have the opportunity to change the world for them.
This year, you can participate in ghost gear cleanups in your community, enjoy nature activities that don’t cause harm, and access a toolbox with pictures and a fact sheet to share on social networks and in your regions.
Learn more and take action www.respectforfish.org.
In defense of animals is an international animal welfare organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 39-year history of fighting for animals, people and the environment through education, campaigning and hands-on rescue facilities. in India, South Korea and in rural areas.