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10 things you should know are going on under the sea.

10 things you should know are going on under the sea.

Posted 1 April 2014   by Jesse         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: fish, oceans, veg, sharks

Did you know that the oceans are home to 97% of all life on Earth? But most of us rarely get a glimpse at what's going on under the sea. So here are 10 things you should know are going on deep below.

5 amazing facts:

FACT 1
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No joke. Many fish have taste buds on their fins, face and tails. Some fish use their sense of smell to find a safe place to lay their eggs. And migrating salmon can even tell the taste of their home stream.

FACT 2
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I was blown away when I saw this video of octopuses using coconut shells as mobile shelter. Then there's stingrays who use jets of water to get food out of tubes, and turk fish who use rocks to break open shells.

FACT 3
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Sea creatures communicate with each other in many weird and wonderful ways (I dare you not to be dazzled by how cuttlefish communicate), but herring might just take the cake. They are believed to use farting to make noises to communicate with one another.

FACT 4
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And these Australian crimson spotted rainbow fish can still remember how to escape nets 11 months later! Plus, they're not the only fish with good memories.

FACT 5
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They call it bioluminescence and it probably goes without saying it's so amazing I can't even.

5 alarming facts:

  1. FACT: By 2048 all the fish species who are fished for food could be wiped out. You can help: Make the choice to take fish off your fork to help combat overfishing. The fish will thank you for it ;)

  2. FACT: Sharks kill 12 humans per year. But humans kill 11,417 sharks per hour. You can help: Don't let sharks die for a bowl of soup!

  3. FACT: Oceans have 'dead zones'. If that didn't sound bad enough, they are getting bigger. You can help: Find out more about dead zones and how you can help here.

  4. FACT: There's an island of floating rubbish in the Pacific Ocean, and it's bigger than the Northern Territory. You can help: Say NO to plastic bags.

  5. FACT: We've turned cows, chickens and pigs into the largest ocean predators on the planet. Factory farmed animals now eat more fish than all the humans on the planet. You can help: Eat for tomorrow! Reducing or eliminating animal products from your diet is the single most powerful thing you can do as a consumer to ease the stress on our oceans. By choosing not to eat farm animals (and fish), you can help ensure marine animals are protected from overfishing.

Did any of these facts shock you? Share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to spread the word!

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Einstein gets a life jacket :)

Einstein gets a life jacket :)

Posted 13 November 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 5 Comments

Tags: fish, cute, amazing, companion animals

Have you ever had a sick pet? It can be utterly heartbreaking. Leighton Naylor was devastated when his goldfish Einstein got an illness that affected his swim bladder, making it impossible for him to swim anymore. He would just sink to the bottom, stuck on his side.

“He just looked depressed,” says Naylor. “I thought I’m going to have to do something about this.”

So he used some recycled tubing to make a flotation device just for little Einstein. Now... well, just look at him:

einsteinfish.jpg

The best thing about this story is that every animal deserves kindness, no matter how small or scaly or different from us they might be. And Einstein was lucky enough to get just that :)

I know that, like Naylor, you’ve been going out of your way to help animals. So what’s something kind you’ve done to make a difference for animals? Pop your story in the comments below.

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World's Ugliest Animal

World's Ugliest Animal

Posted 16 September 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 5 Comments

Tags: blobfish, fish, fishing, oceans, extinction, go veg, vegetarian

This is Blobby -- fondly named by one of the staff here at Animals Australia. The poor darlin’ has just been crowned world's ugliest animal. Well, the whole species of blobfish have. And I’m not going to lie, they are a little frightful looking. But comedian Paul Foot says that if you could get inside the blobfish’s head, you would discover that it’s filled with kind thoughts and wise words.*

So there’s nothing frightening about Blobby. The scary thing is that the Australian blobfish is facing the threat of extinction from being caught up in fishing trawler nets. Trawling is one of the most destructive forms of commercial fishing. Sometimes more than half of the animals caught by trawlers are unwanted, including the blobfish. By the time they’re tossed back, they are either already dead or will often die soon after from their injuries and being unable to defend themselves from predators.

The good news is that the blobfish has now been named the mascot for the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, which aims to help out the ‘aesthitically-challenged’ animals who are facing extinction. President of the Society, Simon Watt, says that, “for too long the cute and fluffy animals have taken the limelight but now the blobfish will be a voice for the mingers who always get forgotten.”

The even better news is that you can start helping Blobby’s species right now by withdrawing your support for the fishing industry. How? Simply by not eating animals from the sea. Click here to make the pledge to go veg today and start saving the lives of blobfish and loads of other animals.

*Based on no scientific evidence whatsoever.

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Abbott's promise a little 'fishy'

Abbott's promise a little 'fishy'

Posted 30 August 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: politics, election, vote, Tony Abbott, fish, turtles, dugongs

turtle.jpg

Sometimes I feel that the election campaign is a lot like riding a rollercoaster. (Except that, let’s be honest, rollercoasters are way more fun.) The week before last I was so excited to hear that the Liberal Party had announced plans to provide $5 million to protect dugongs and turtles on the Great Barrier Reef, if elected. Yay! Since these beautiful, gentle animals are considered vulnerable to extinction, they need as much help as they can get.

flounder.jpg

However, my celebration was short-lived as, this week, Tony Abbott has declared that he will re-open marine protected areas for recreational fishing if he is elected. Ummm ... what? Tony, researchers have predicted that there will be no fish left by 2048 due to overfishing. By that time this election will be a thing of the past, and your friends from the Australian Fishing Trade Show will have long forgotten about your promise, but future generations of Australians will not forgive us for handing them an empty ocean.

Imagine a world without fish? Not only are they vital to the ecosystem, there is a lot more to fish than people realise. Australian crimson spotted rainbowfish are even able to learn to escape from a net, and still remember how to do it 11 months later! So much for fish having short memories. That’s the equivalent to a human remembering something they were taught 40 years ago. (I can’t even remember how to do high school algebra!)

And now Abbott wants to remove some of the very little protection that fish get. You can help fish, and all other animals, by knowing which political parties are promising to put animal welfare on the agenda this election. There’s a really handy guide here. You might like to follow it up with a visit to Dennis the Election Koala to find out exactly how to make your vote count most for animals.

Still got questions? Maybe I can help. Leave a comment below and I’ll do my best :)

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200 year old fish killed for fun.

200 year old fish killed for fun.

Posted 4 July 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 10 Comments

Tags: fishing, fish, go veg, vegetarian

What would you do if you came across someone who had managed to live to the ripe old age of two hundred years?

This is Stanley. (But his mates called him Stan.) He is a bright pink 'shortraker' who lived off the coast of southern Alaska. At his age, he could have been a great, great, GREAT grandfather to goodness knows how many fish. On the day he was killed, he could have been on his way to visit an old friend to talk about last night's game, or the cold weather they’d been having. (Did you know that fish communicate using low-frequency squeaks? Some even sing.)

Whatever his story is, one thing is for sure – Stan wanted to live.

This is Henry. Henry is the guy who pulled Stanley out of the water. When fish are taken out of the water, they immediately start to suffocate. It's the exact same feeling as if you or I were pulled under water and started to drown. (Check out this video where Ewan McGregor imagines what this must be like for a fish: Desserts).

henry.jpg

Poor Stanley was a goner the minute he was pulled up. Fish that live very deep down in the ocean (approximately 275 metres in this case) have something called a "swim bladder" which is filled with gas and helps them to remain buoyant. When they are brought to the surface, the gas in the bladder expands and usually bursts, causing the fish to die. Sounds painful doesn’t it? :(

Henry is a "recreational fisher." This is what he does for fun. He plans to have Stanley mounted on his wall so that he can tell the story to friends, family and visitors in his home. I wonder if Henry knows that he can get trophies for table tennis too and no-one has to die.

Fish biologist Kristen Green said she was very sad to see a fish this old taken from the sea. However she also noted that "this is a drop in the ocean compared to what the commercial fisheries take."

She’s right. Commercial fishing kills billions of animals every year -- more than any other industry. Often, more than half of the fish pulled out of the sea by trawlers are unwanted and tossed back. Unfortunately, most will already be dead by this time and those that aren’t will probably die from their injuries or be too weak to escape from predators. :(

The good news is that there is a very easy way that you can save hundreds of fish (and other animals too). Simply don’t eat them. Pledge to take animals off your plate today and start saving lives. :) Stan would be so proud!

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Holy carp. A vegetarian shark!

Holy carp. A vegetarian shark!

Posted 24 May 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: fish, sharks, shark fin soup, go veg, vegetarian shark

End of week pop test. (Don't stress, it's easy.) Which one of the following statements is false?

a) There's a vegetarian shark in the UK.
b) Great whites like AC/DC.
c) Fish don't feel pain like us.

The false statement is ... C! Fish definitely feel pain; great whites apparently like classic Aussie metal, and a shark called Florence is eating her veggies!

Florence, a nurse shark in England, has recently joined the growing movement toward eating cruelty free, and now chooses to chow down on only vegetables. Florence must have good taste as she particularly likes celery, cucumber and lettuce, which sounds suspiciously like what I'll be having for lunch today. Maybe we could organise a lunch date?

Florence made the switch to vegetarian eating after surgery to remove a rusted hook from her jaw. Perhaps she's wised up to the dangers involved in eating meat? (ok... ok... the truth is that Florence will in fact need to start eating meat again to be healthy, but fortunately, you and I definitely don't!) After all, carp have been reported to change their behaviour after an experience with hooks, and trout can remember how to avoid fishing nets months after their first experience with one. And I thought Nemo was pretty smart because he could talk!

Fish experience a whole range of the same sensations that other animals do. A hook in the mouth hurts. Suffocating to death is as awful as it sounds for us. And when fish are brought to the surface too quickly, the change in pressure causes eyes and organs to explode. More and more people are realising the stress and pain caused to fish by recreational and commercial fishing.

The underwater world really is an amazing place. There's sharks who can bark like dogs; tiny creatures that light up whole waves; and fish using rocks to open clam shells. If you want to take a small step to protect some of our marine mates, you don't need to buy them tix to an AC/DC concert (good luck, they sell out in like 8 minutes flat). Just head here to join others in taking a stand against the sale of shark fins in Australia.

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Nemo Threatened By Extinction

Nemo Threatened By Extinction

Posted 19 January 2012   by Jesse         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: Nemo, fish, sharks, shark fin soup, Gordon Ramsey, fishing, bycatch

I should probably start this blog with a rant alert...

I don't know about you, but I always thought Finding Nemo was a pretty awesome movie. So I was really disappointed to hear that sales of clown fish as pets increased after the movie came out. I mean that just goes against the whole story of Nemo trying to escape captivity to get home to his family and friends

But I was even more disappointed recently to read that 1/6 of the species that featured in Finding Nemo are threatened with extinction.

I suppose it's not surprising. Aside from Nemo's clown fish buddies being sold as pets, overfishing is a big problem for all sorts of ocean animals ... and not just for the animals they're trying to catch: trawling nets often bring in huge amounts of bycatch (unwanted animals who are accidentally caught). Whales, dolphins, birds, turtles, fish and seals, can all get caught, injured and killed by nets never intended to catch them.

And then there's shark finning... Even celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay (not known for his animal-friendly attitude) doesn't seem to be able to understand the obsession with killing sharks for their fins:

(At least on the up side, one of Asia's fanciest hotel chains recently pledged to take shark fin soup off their menus.)

I just wish that we'd cut sea creatures some slack. I'm sure they'd much prefer to live in the ocean than wind up on people's plates, in tanks, or having their fins taken from them to make soup :(

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Why Fish Like Space & How to WIN a DVD

Why Fish Like Space & How to WIN a DVD

Posted 28 September 2011   by Jesse         Permalink | 47 Comments

Tags: fish, giveaway, oceans, cuttlefish, film

I'm excited to let you know that we've got a copy of the stunning Oceans DVD to give away. So read on to find out how you could be checking out some of the most amazing animals under the sea.

Don't you agree, there's something nice about watching fish swim? You know at first glance it's easy to believe there isn't too much thinking going on upstairs in fish, but keep watching and it's amazing how you start to notice how each animal has her own personality and quirks.

A lot of people seem to find watching fish calming -- or more precisely, see fish as a calming 'decoration'. Why else would so many houses and offices install fish tanks, and why else would Google offer this very cute gadget (below). But to be honest, I much prefer watching fish swim in their natural environment -- not a fish tank. And not surprisingly, it turns out fish prefer this too.

Researchers recently compared the behaviour of fish in the wild; in a large artificial 'stream' in a zoo; and in smaller tanks used by pet owners. What they found is that the smaller the tank, and the less 'complex' (ie. no rocks, plants, hiding places, etc) the tank was the more aggressive the fish became -- sometimes even escalating to nipping and attacking other fish.

When you think about it, it's not really that surprising. If you put me in a small empty room, I'd be pretty annoyed as well. Obviously, like us fish feel pain. And when you consider all the other amazing things scientists have discovered about fish, it makes sense that they might experience boredom and frustration too.

For example, did you know that fish communicate with each other using squeaks and squeals that you and I can only hear with special instruments? Or that in some species the older fish teach the youngens -- about things like predators, and even to recognise the sound of trawling boats. Or that some fish use tools... such as stingsrays working out how to extract food from plastic tubes by shooting jets of water; or blackspot tuskfish using a rock to open a clam's shell.

And don't even get me started on how cool cuttlefish are (although technically they're not a fish)! Ahem ... I guess what I'm trying to say is: Sea animals is pretty amazing! And there's a whole lot more going on upstairs in the animals that live down below than we often give them credit for.

Oceans DVD Giveaway!

The Disney doco, Oceans, is about to be released on DVD and we have a copy that could be yours. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below and tell us one good reason people should care about fish.


UPDATE You guys are all so awesome for knowing how awesome fish are! These responses are all fabulous! Unfortunately there can only be one winner ..... And the DVD goes to *drumroll* Liz2! Well done Liz! And massive THANK YOUs to everyone for entering!

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More Nations Stepping up to Save Sharks!
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More Nations Stepping up to Save Sharks!

Posted 14 July 2011   by         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: Sharks, shark fin soup, activism, fish, oceans

More good news for animals abroad! Hot on the heels of other nations stepping up to save the sharks of the world, this week Chile banned the finning of sharks. But wait, it gets better! Just last week the Bahamas banned the fishing of sharks completely!

Now before the Jaws theme pops into your head (oops! Too late!), some amazing divers are out to show sharks aren't the man eating monters of movies, but in fact are actually pretty shy. Like our canine companions, sharks also have an incredible sense of smell, and wait for it, the NZ Swell Shark even barks like a dog!

So what's the sad situation with sharks? Soup! Yep, you read that right - soup! The demand for an expensive dish known as Shark Fin Soup sees millions of sharks killed - all for their fins.

Considered so much of a delicacy in China that, in a fisherman's eyes, it renders every other part of a shark's body as worthless, one bowl of the bland broth can fetch up to $400!

So fishing boats head out and catch millions of sharks. In some cases, a shark is hauled up on deck, her fins are hacked off, before she is tossed back overboard, alive, in agony and slowly sinking to her death.

Not only is this insanely cruel, but the practice has seen some shark populations plummet by 90% - sharks are literally swimming on a knife's edge!

Thankfully more and more governments worldwide are recognising this cruelty too. Other island nations, like Honduras, Maldives and Palau have also declared their seas safe for sharks, and the US states, Hawaii and Washington, and the Canadian city, Brantford have banned the sale of shark fin.

But here in Australia, you can wander into any number of Chinese restaurants and order shark fin soup straight off the menu.

So here's how you can help! If you're out for dinner and see this cruel dish on the menu, you can send a strong message by politely explaining to the waiter or manager why you are leaving. Tell them if they stop selling shark fin soup you'll be back and you'll bring your friends!

If you know of any awesome Asian eateries that have already taken shark fin off the menu, let us know below!

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Win A Double Pass To See Disney's Oceans!
Posted By

Win A Double Pass To See Disney's Oceans!

Posted 11 May 2011   by         Permalink | 39 Comments

Tags: giveaway, Oceans, video, fish, film

The wonderful people at Hopscotch Films have given Unleashed a stack of double passes to see advance screenings of the latest Disney blockbuster, Oceans.

Doesn't it look amazing? What a great way to give people a glimpse into the lives of sea animals!

The oceans have been plundered by outdated and cruel fishing methods driving many species to the brink of extinction. This movie shows that a lot of these animals aren't all that different to us - they form amazing bonds and play and protect each other. We should be doing all we can to protect them!

Tell us below what you're going to do to protect our oceans and you could win a double pass to see this spectacular movie before anyone else!

Hurry, comp closes noon Monday May 16th so don't plod along like a walrus!

PS The tickets are only valid for Friday 20th, Saturday 21st, Sunday 22nd May (not valid after 5pm on Saturday) at the following cinemas :
Sydney - Palace Verona & Palace Norton Street Cinemas
Melbourne - Palace Como Cinemas
Brisbane - Palace Barracks Cinemas
Adelaide - Palace Eastend Cinemas
Perth - Cinema Paradiso Cinemas
Canberra - Greater Union Manuka Cinemas
So please only enter if you can make it to a screening! ;)

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Sea Creatures Light Up the Oceans!
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Sea Creatures Light Up the Oceans!

Posted 27 April 2011   by         Permalink | 4 Comments

Tags: fish, oceans, video

Have you ever stopped to think how amazing sea creatures can be? And I'm not talking about the beauty of a whale's song or the playfulness of jumping dolphins. I'm not even talking about the fact that some sea turtles can swim the ocean for 150 years. Although all those things are pretty awesome!

I'm talking about the creatures who live far beneath the waves in the deepest darkest waters of the ocean. The creatures who, if it weren't for videos like this one, we may never have the chance to see.

Aren't those pictures some of the most amazing things you've ever seen? It's called bioluminescence. Forget fireworks - nature's lightshows are SO much more awe-inspiring. Check out this picture of millions of dinoflagellates lighting up a whole wave!

It just goes to show, the ocean's full of creatures who are so much more incredible (and clever!) than we often give them credit for (and that includes fish who sadly end up on dinner plates!). I just had to share this cool video with you guys!

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Close Encounters With a Cuttlefish

Close Encounters With a Cuttlefish

Posted 14 September 2010   by Sim         Permalink | 8 Comments

Tags: cuttlefish, fish, diving, oceans, video

Not long ago I took some friends to a favourite diving place of mine in Melbourne called Cottage by the Sea. This particular place has deep overhangs and crevices that provide shelter and feeding ground for lots of ocean life. It's home to one of the most inquisitive and cute 'fish' (actually an invertebrate, like an octopus) in the world - the Cuttlefish.

Imagine a creature that can change colour and texture on demand, can hover, shoot forward or backwards and has eyes that can look into your soul. A cuttlefish is SO much more than a piece of calcium washed up on the beach. This vid will give you a better picture:

One of my favourite things to do when diving is poke my head into the caves in the reef and see how fish are spending their day. I was doing exactly this when all of a sudden a large cuttlefish shot out and grabbed one of our air gauges with his tentacles! (Cuttlefish use their tentacles to explore things, just like we might pick something up with our hands.) The gauge was bright yellow and he was flashing different colours trying to match it. He seemed highly fascinated with the colour and shape of the gauge. Then he suddenly let go and hovered right near my friend's mask, having a good long look at her. Cuttlefish can actually make eye contact!

Our playful cuttle then moved on to another diver in our group who was quite nervous about the strange creature in front of him. I think the cuttle sensed this and actually toyed with him. The cuttlefish would dart forward; the diver would back up and the cuttle would raise four of his tentacles above his head and lower the other ones in a really funny gesture.

Then the cuttle moved towards me. He gently touched my raised hand with his tentacles before hovering up to my mask to look me in the eye!

We watched for a long while as the cuttle moved away from us. But when we decided to move on, I turned back a few times to see him slowly following us, watching us the whole time.

When we surfaced we couldn't stop talking about our cuttle encounter. We felt he was communicating with us and that we were lucky to be in the presence of such an intelligent creature.

I have no doubt that most sea creatures feel pain, and since this experience with the cuttle (who are directly related to squids) my friends haven't eaten any calamari. It's often the case that people won't knowingly contribute to the killing of an animal they feel empathy for. So why should our marine creatures be any different?

I love retelling this story because I know people who hear it will never look at cuttle bones on the beach the same way again. Would this kind of experience stop you eating squid or cuttlefish? Or have you given up seafood altogether?

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Circus Has to Swallow Goldfish Ban

Circus Has to Swallow Goldfish Ban

Posted 9 September 2010   by Jesse         Permalink | 15 Comments

Tags: victory, circuses, fish, Animals Australia, exotic animals, video

When you think of animals in circuses, what comes to mind? ... Elephants, lions, monkeys, goldfish ... hold up! ... goldfish?

Yes, you read right - goldfish. The Moscow circus was this week banned from performing an act in which a woman swallowed 3 live goldfish and then regurgitated them, after Animals Australia reported the act to the NSW Govt.

It's bad enough that elephants and other exotic animals suffer miserable cramped and inadequate lives in circuses, but how could anyone imagine that swallowing a live animal would make for wholesome family entertainment? Mind you, if you ask me, swallowing dead animals at the dinner table hardly makes for a wholesome family activity either.

Anyway, if you're thinking "But they're just goldfish, don't they have a 3 second memory?", then to dispell this myth I'll refer you to that amazing fountain of knowledge that is Japanese Novelty TV:

I bet you didn't expect to see synchronised swimming goldfish when you woke up this morning ;)

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The fish on our plate is killing our planet

The fish on our plate is killing our planet

Posted 7 June 2010   by Sim         Permalink | 4 Comments

Tags: fishing, oceans, fish, environment

Did you know that June 8th is World Oceans Day? I often wonder why our planet wasn't called Ocean, instead of Earth, since most of the planet is covered by water! Not only that, the ocean creates oxygen, regulates our climate and is home to about 97% of all life on the planet. But there's a crisis happening below the water...

Scientists are warning that we will fish out our oceans by 2048 if we don't change what we are doing. Meanwhile fishing mentality seems to be: plunder what you can while you still can. Since the ocean is literally Earth's life support system, I am frankly terrified by this!

But it's not just people who are gobbling up ocean wildlife. Every year countless billions of marine animals are ground up and fed to livestock - yet another ecological disaster.

"More than 50% of the fish taken from the oceans are fed to livestock making pigs, sheep, cows, and chickens the largest marine predators on the planet" -Captain Paul Watson SSCS.

And if fishing our oceans doesn't make sense, then fish farming makes even less! Every fish raised in a fish farm is fed up to ten times its own weight in ocean-caught fish. That means more fish are caught from the oceans to feed fish in factory farms!

If you're like me, and would rather avoid an ocean apocalypse, then you'll be glad to know that there is something we can all do to stop this. This World Ocean Day, join me and give fishing the finger by pledging not to eat fish (or any other innocent animal).

Our oceans and our Earth will thank you!

fish.gif

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Fishing Really, Really Hurts!

Fishing Really, Really Hurts!

Posted 27 April 2010   by Sim         Permalink | 18 Comments

Tags: fishing, diving, oceans, fish

On a lovely sunny Saturday a couple of weeks ago a friend and I decided we would do one of Port Phillip Bay's most popular shore dives at St Leonards Pier. This is a great dive because of the many sea creatures that call the pier home. There are normally heaps of Seadragons, Leatherjackets, Stingray's, Nudibranchs and even the occasional Stargazer.

With all our gear on and ready to shoot some photos we swam in under the pier. There are usually quite a few people fishing from the pier, so we were very aware of fishing lines and the possibility of getting tangled up.

We made the decision to head out from under the pier and as we headed out I made a mental note of several discarded fishing lines that I would cut free on my way back. These are very hard to spot and seriously threaten wildlife by entangling them. Then suddenly I felt a very sharp pain in my left index finger! OUCH!

I looked down to realise I'd been hooked by a large hook through the skin on the top of my finger from one knuckle to the other. My skin was now being stretched to the point of tearing and was starting to bleed. But then I realised it could get much worse. Surfacing too quickly puts both humans and fish alike at risk of an internal embolism or overexpansion injury. This is something every wild caught fish would go through when they are netted and dragged up from depth. Their flotation bladders explode internally and their eyes bulge due to the change in pressure.

My finger felt like it was going to be torn open. With my free hand I caught the fishing line to relieve the tension on my finger and just held on for the ride to the surface. The first thing I saw when I got to the surface was a guy with a scary grimace like smile on his face doing his best to 'land his catch'. Needless to say he was pretty shocked when he realised he'd hooked a diver. I spat my regulators out and I think unfortunately a pile of expletives followed! I grabbed my knife and with the pressure now off my finger I was able to cut the line. The next job was to pull the barbed hook out of my finger. Once done the pain really set in. I hadn't realised the hook had also caught my tendon and now my finger was swelling quickly. To this day the finger still hurts. But actually, I'm thankful I had the experience. 'Cause now I know first hand how cruel fishing is.

I've always disagreed with recreational fishing. It seems barbaric to me to find joy in hooking a living feeling being through the mouth and let her fight to exhaustion on the end of a line; then drag her out to suffocate to death. Most fish are not killed quickly and they suffer a painful drawn out death. Those that are thrown back are often injured beyond recovery or are killed by predators because they are too exhausted to escape. All this in the name of entertainment!?!

Sadly most victims of fishing don't live to tell the tale. But the next time someone tries to tell you fishing doesn't hurt, point them in my direction and I'll set the record straight!

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