What you can do to help fish

Now that we know fish feel pain and are sentient, it’s time to take their welfare seriously.

And, because we know the world’s oceans and waterways are under threat, we need to take action to protect their environment. Here are some actions you can take to help fish and safeguard their habitat.

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Eat plant-based

Reduce plastic pollution

End fishing subsidies

Reduce carbon emissions

Don’t buy fish

Switch to a plant-based diet

With close to 90 per cent of the world’s marine fish stocks being fully exploited, overexploited or depleted, it’s important to reduce the consumption of fish, especially in wealthy countries that dominate the fishing industry. By transitioning to a plant-based diet you can reduce the demand for fish and take a stand against the suffering they endure from being pulled from the sea with nets and hooks.

The renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle, who adopted a plant-based diet, has said: “If people really understood the methods being used to capture wild fish, they might think about choosing whether to eat them at all, because the methods are so destructive and wasteful.” 
The good news is that plant-based seafood alternatives are increasingly available.

If you do eat fish, avoid those from open-sea fish farms, which are inhumane and bad for the environment. Organizations such as Ocean Wise and SeaChoice offer information on sustainable fish choices. But remember, virtually all forms of fishing cause fish some degree of suffering.

Learn more about a plant-based diet.

“We are literally eating the oceans alive…there are simply not enough fish to continue to feed an ever expanding population of humanity.”
Paul Watson, founder, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Reduce plastic pollution

By reducing the use of single-use plastics, such as bags, bottles and straws, you can cut the amount of plastic pollution in the ocean. It also helps to urge retailers to stop using single-use plastics or to call on your municipality to ban their use.

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Here are easy things you can do to dramatically decrease the amount of plastic pollution you make.

Call for an end to subsidies for the fishing industry

Governments around the world provide US$22 billion each year in subsidies to the global fishing industry, which encourages overfishing. You can urge the federal government to reduce subsidies to the fishing industry.

Reduce your carbon emissions

Besides cutting out carbon-intensive meat from your diet, you can also reduce your energy consumption by walking, riding a bike or using public transport instead of driving. You can also fly less – air travel contributes between three and five per cent of global CO2 emissions.

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A report lists some of the best ways people can tackle their own contribution to climate change.

Don’t buy ornamental fish

Remember, when you buy ornamental fish you are buying into an industry that is harmful to wild fish populations and deprives fish of the space and freedom of their natural habitat. Even fish that are captive-bred have evolved to thrive in natural environments, not in tanks.

The Dark Hobby Clips [6/7] | Taylor Nicole Dean & Cory Hearst

The Hawaiian Islands host many exotic fish species. Many are now on the verge of extinction. THE DARK HOBBY reveals the truth about the aquarium trade. The Dark Hobby premieres on May 21st on iTunes, AppleTV, Google Play, YouTube, Vudu, and Vimeo. Visit our website to learn more about the film: https://thedarkhobby.com/ Follow us on social media!

“Fish are individual beings whose lives have intrinsic value apart from any utilitarian value they might have for us.”
Jonathan Balcombe, author of What a Fish Knows

Read more:

Are fish intelligent?

Can fish feel pain?

Fish are in trouble

Main page: The new facts about fish