Animal Rights Group Asks Council to Save Sea Life Proactively While Awaiting Shark Net Decision
North Sydney – Following news that Northern Beaches Council has voted to replace shark nets with alternatives that don’t trap other marine species, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has sent a letter to Mayor Michael Regan asking him to prohibit the consumption of sea animals at council functions in the interest of “compassion, moral consistency, and a willingness to put … beliefs into practice”.
The letter, also sent to Deputy Mayor Candy Bingham, points out that fishing nets – more so than shark nets – are the biggest threat to marine life. The current global fishing fleet is 2.5 times larger than what oceans can support. Experts estimate that more than 650,000 marine mammals and turtles are injured or killed annually by the commercial fishing industry. Meanwhile, shrimp trawlers discard as much as 80% of their catch.
“Another concern, of course, is ocean plastics,” writes PETA Senior Outreach Manager Emily Rice. “Contrary to popular belief, the biggest culprit when it comes to marine plastics is not plastic straws but discarded fishing gear. More than 640,000 tonnes of nets, lines, pots, and traps used in commercial fishing are discarded in the sea every year, and up to 70% (by weight) of the macroplastics floating on the surface of the ocean are related to fishing.”
Research confirms that fish are sensitive individuals who feel pain, form complex relationships, have good memories, and possess cognitive abilities, yet each year, trillions are cruelly yanked from their homes – gasping for breath – and bludgeoned or left to suffocate before being beheaded and gutted.
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.au.
PETA’s letter to the council is available in full here.