For Immediate Release:
February 15, 2022
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Portland, Maine – As the state’s lobster industry faces new regulations designed to protect whales—from bans on buoy lines to mandates for weakened ropes—PETA is making a splash throughout Portland International Jetport with new appeals reminding travelers that fishing gear as a whole kills 300,000 whales and dolphins annually and suggesting a solution: “Don’t Eat Fish.”
In the fishing industry, even whales are callously referred to as “bycatch,” a euphemism for nontarget animals who get caught or become entangled in fishing gear and then are discarded or simply die. PETA notes that death by fishing gear is one of the biggest threats to the survival of many of the world’s 86 cetacean species—including Maine’s critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, over 85% of whom have been entangled in fishing gear at least once—and that eating fish contributes to the decimation of ocean ecosystems.
“Eating vegan not only prevents fish and lobsters from suffering for a fleeting taste but also protects the majestic whales who cross New England’s waters,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA urges everyone to honor aquatic animals, large and small, by leaving them off their plates.”
More fish are killed for food each year than all other animals combined. Fish feel pain as acutely as mammals, have long-term memories, and sing underwater—yet they’re impaled, crushed, suffocated, dropped into pots of boiling water, or cut open and gutted, all while conscious.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—points out that many faux-fish options are available, including Gardein’s f’sh filets, Good Catch’s Plant-Based Tuna, New Wave Foods’ plant-based shrimp, and Sophie’s Kitchen’s Vegan Crab Cakes.
PETA’s ads are located throughout the airport, including in the baggage claim, ticketing, and concourse areas.