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Fishing

Laws couldn't stop this ... so it's up to you!

Laws couldn't stop this ... so it's up to you!

Posted 7 October 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: fishing, sharks, shark fin soup, hunting, action, pledge

First, he's hooked and brought to the surface, unable to breathe. Then, his fins are brutally sliced off. Finally, he's tossed back into the ocean like rubbish -- where he'll sink to the bottom, and drown :( It’s a horrific way to die, and the animal who washed up on a Queensland beach on Monday probably suffered this cruel fate.

shark finning

Finning a shark at sea is illegal in Australia but laws are difficult to police. Sharks like this hammerhead are in danger of cruelty because of demand for their fins. These fins are used in shark fin soup, a popular Asian dish that is now available in restaurants throughout Australia.

While shark fins are still allowed to be sold in Australia, more sharks are at risk of suffering this same cruel death. It’s time to BAN the sale of shark fins -- and you can help do it!

Here's three things you can do to help protect sharks from finning:

  1. Sign the pledge to never buy shark fin soup.
  2. Contact your MP and let them know that the only way to protect sharks from finning is by banning the sale of shark fins in Australia.
  3. If you see shark fin soup being sold, take a moment to politely get in touch with the restaurant -- in person, or by sending an e-mail or message via social media -- to ask them to take shark fin off the menu and help protect sharks.

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Lucky Larry lobster gets to live!

Lucky Larry lobster gets to live!

Posted 3 June 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: lobsters, rescue, good news, fishing, go veg

"Let Larry live! Let Larry live!" a group of kids chanted as Larry, the 80 year old lobster, was carried to safety. And I would've been chanting right alongside them if I was there :)

Poor Larry had been dragged from his home in the sea and ended up in the The Dock Restaurant in Waterford, Connecticut ... destined to be ... *gulp* ... someone's dinner :(

BUT, lucky for Larry, Don MacKenzie came to his rescue! He said that Larry would have to be at least 80 years old to be the size he was and that he deserved to live. So he bought Larry, and released him back into the ocean.

larrylobster.jpg

He picked a secret location that he thought would be almost impossible for fishermen to drag their nets, in order to give him the best chance at life.

larrylobster3.jpg

You know some scientist believe that Larry and other lobsters can live forever! Of course, they can die from illness and predators, but getting older doesn't increase their risk of dying. How cool is that? Imagine all the things that might still happen in Larry's lifetime ... hoverboards? Artificial meat?

Personally, I hope Larry lives on to a time where all living creatures get to live out their lives in peace, just like he will thanks to Don.

Unfortunately, commercial fishing takes billions of animals from the sea to be killed every single year. Lobsters like Larry, crabs and other crustaceans who are caught can be kept in overcrowded tanks in restaurants awaiting their death. They may have their claws bound to keep them from pinching anyone. (Well you would want to pinch people too wouldn't you?)*

What's worse, lobsters are sometimes boiled alive and have been known to thrash violently and try to escape :(

The good news is that there is a very easy way that you can save the lives of animals just like Larry (without having to spend a fortune and hire a boat!) Simply don't eat them. Pledge to take animals off your plate and start saving lives today!

pledgetobeveg.jpg

What change would you like to see in the world in your lifetime (and Larry's)? Let me know in the comments.

*Cute sidenote: Larry's rescuer Don kept the two thick rubber bands that had been wrapped around Larry's claws as a memento of setting him free.

P.S. Did you know that lobsters hold hands? More incredible lobster facts here

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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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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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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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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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