People kill a greater number of fish than they do all other animal groups combined. Every year, billions of fish endure extreme suffering. There are no animal welfare laws to protect them. Fishing kills other marine life, too, such as sea turtles, dolphins, and whales. Fish farming practices are no better, endangering native species and contaminating our waters.
Given the enormous amount of animal suffering and the devastating environmental impact caused by the fishing industry, outreach that advocates for marine life is more important than ever.
There’s a wealth of information on the multifaceted issues surrounding fishing and bycatch. We’ve put together a short list of resources that stood out to us. We hope these provide the information you need to begin or expand your outreach for marine life.
Bluefin (53 minutes), directed by John Hopkins, documents an extraordinary and persecuted ocean animal caught between the addictive thrill of the hunt and our fear of their extinction.
Sea of Shadows (105 minutes) is a documentary by National Geographic Documentary Films with executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio. The film follows a team of scientists, conservationists, journalists, undercover agents, and the Mexican Navy as they strive to save the last remaining vaquitas and bring an international crime syndicate to justice for threatening to destroy all marine life in the region.
Seaspiracy: What You should know about fish, the ocean, and more! is a 14-minute documentary film by the The Friendly Activist filled with information on the massively destructive effects of the global fishing industry.
Plastic Oceans has several short films to choose from.
Protect the Arctic Deep from Harmful Bottom Trawling by Greenpeace illustrates in less than two minutes the enormity and devastation of trawling.
Secret filming reveals intensive fish farming practices in Italy. This disturbing footage, filmed in 2017 and 2018, shows common practices in fish farms that include fish suffocating for up to an hour in containers filled with ice. The video is one minute and twenty seconds long, with an Italian voiceover and English subtitles.
Aquaculture: A Sea of Suffering by Compassion Over Killing (COK) is the first-ever undercover exposé of salmon aquaculture in the United States. This 5-minute video reveals the painful reality of farming fish for food.
The Unnatural History of the Sea by Callum Roberts is a disturbing and detailed history of the once abundant life in our oceans and the rapid rise of destructive fishing and whaling practices.
What a Fish Knows by Jonathan Balcombe debunks myths about fish by exploring their complex natures as sentient, social, intelligent, and diverse creatures.
Additional Sources of Information
5 amazing facts that’ll change the way you think about fish – Animals Australia
5 reasons you should be super worried about super trawlers – Animals Australia
7 ways fishing trawlers are bad news for the seabed – Greenpeace
90% of fish stocks are used up – fisheries subsidies must stop – United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Sustainable Seafood Initiative – The Good Food Institute
First Pictures: Wild Fish Uses Tool – National Geographic
Fish Welfare – Eurogroup for Animals
Fishes Use Problem Solving and Invent Tools – Scientific American
Fish Farming – Animal Welfare Institute
Fish Intelligence, Sentience and Ethics – The Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy Animal Studies Repository
GLOBEFISH – Information and Analysis on World Fish Trade – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
How Many Animals Are Killed for Food Every Day? – Sentient Media
Impacts of Biodiversity Loss on Ocean Ecosystem Services – Science Magazine
Science study predicts collapse of all seafood fisheries by 2050 – Stanford Report
Wasted catch: Unsolved problems in U.S. fisheries. – Oceana
Thinking about advocating for marine life? Get support with a VegFund grant!