Oh, No! Eating Lobsters Can KILL Right Whales: Catch New PETA Ad

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3 min read

In time for peak whale-watching season in New England, PETA has blanketed the ferry between Martha’s Vineyard and Woods Hole, Massachusetts, with a pointed message pinching everyone with the inconvenient truth about who’s responsible for the plummeting numbers of North Atlantic right whales: anyone who eats crustaceans or other sea animals. Catch PETA’s new ad in six places on the ferry’s second deck through July 30:

Color poster with images of a whale and a lobster. Text reads "Did your lobster kill a whale? North Atlantic right whales are dying in lobster gear. Go Vegan"

PETA’s pressing message reminds people about the scores of hidden deaths of animals of all kinds caused by eating “seafood.” Our bold advertisement shows that all sea life is worth protecting.

PETA’s ferry blitz follows reports in April of a right whale entangled in rope spotted off the New England coast. The ad also launches in the wake of a 3-year-old right whale’s death: She washed up on Joseph Sylvia State Beach in January with a rope, which federal officials determined came from gear traced to Maine’s lobster industry, deeply embedded in her tail. She is believed to have been the eighth member of her family to have become entangled in fishing gear.

“The lobsters and fish who are boiled or broiled alive aren’t the only victims of the environmentally disastrous fishing industry. PETA urges anyone disturbed by the thought of whales dying in lobster gear to choose vegan and has free vegan starter kits to make the transition easy.”

—PETA President Ingrid Newkirk

North Atlantic right whales are critically endangered, with an estimated 360 individuals remaining, including fewer than 70 reproductively active females. More than 85% of the population is estimated to have become entangled in fishing gear at least once, and entanglements have killed at least nine and injured 70 other right whales since 2017.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, entanglements in gear and vessel strikes are the primary causes of premature deaths in the species. PETA notes that death due to gear entanglement is also one of the biggest threats to more than 90 of the world’s cetacean species and that abandoned fishing gear kills 300,000 whales, dolphins, and porpoises annually.

Imperiled right whales shouldn’t be sustaining fatal injuries from fishing gear any more than lobsters should be boiled alive or fish gutted on the decks of trawlers. PETA urges everyone to consider the high cost of putting any marine animal on their plate and go vegan.

Did you know that whales have close-knit family structures and often communicate with one another through song? Mother whales dedicate years to caring for their calves, and some species “whisper” to their babies to protect them from predators. Some also use individualized calls to refer to one another, much as humans use names.

Here’s What You Can Do to Help Whales and Other Sea Life

It’s easy to find delicious vegan fish options—such as Gardein’s f’sh filets, Sophie’s Kitchen’s Fish Fillets, and Good Catch Plant-Based Crab Cakes—at a store near you. PETA will even send you a free vegan starter kit.

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