Nearly 100 bull sharks have washed up along the beaches of Mobile Bay, Alabama, many of them babies who became entangled in a recreational-fishing net. It’s not a “sharknado”: Humans kill about 11,000 sharks every hour. And every year, we kill trillions of marine animals, including billions of fish who are caught or become entangled in fishing nets alongside turtles, dolphins, and other sea life and are discarded as “bycatch.” The deadliest jaws in the ocean? They’re ours.
So PETA is negotiating with outdoor advertisers in Mobile to place this billboard to show that fish, including sharks, have far more to fear from humans than the other way around:
Humans consume more fish annually than all other animals combined, and the demand for shark-fin soup has resulted in overfishing and dwindling shark populations. Shark finning entails dragging sharks—who studies show have individual personalities—to the surface, hacking their fins off, and throwing them back into the ocean to die slowly from their injuries, stress, or suffocation.
Most fish commonly served in restaurants and supermarkets are caught using huge, sometimes miles-long, commercial-fishing nets that stretch across ocean floors, trapping “trash catch” such as dolphins, turtles, and seals. When hauled up from the ocean, fish—who are highly sensitive to pain—are often crushed to death, and their eyeballs bulge out of their heads from the pressure change of sudden surfacing. Others are gutted alive.
Anyone who cares about the world’s oceans and their inhabitants should try healthy, humane vegan meals such as Gardein’s tasty Golden Fishless Filets.