Whale’s Death in Lobster Gear Prompts PETA to Point Finger at Seafood Eaters

For Immediate Release:
February 16, 2024

Sara Groves 202-483-7382

Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

Federal officials just confirmed that fishing gear traced back to Maine’s lobster industry has been linked to the death of a young North Atlantic right whale—a critically endangered species with fewer than 70 reproductively active females—found washed up on Joseph Sylvia State Beach last month with a rope deeply embedded in her tail. In response, PETA is blitzing local ferries with a message giving people food for thought about the scores of hidden deaths behind their seafood spreads.

A lobster next to a whale tied up and big text that says "did your lobster kill a whale?"

“Boiling lobsters alive is cruel enough, but perhaps realizing that eating one animal may also doom others may have people thinking twice about their food choices,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA urges everyone to consider the high cost of putting any aquatic animal on their plate and go vegan.”

More than 85% of the remaining right whale population is estimated to have become entangled in fishing gear at least once, with entanglements in the gear and vessel strikes the primary causes of premature deaths in the species, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. PETA notes that death due to gear entanglement is also one of the biggest threats to many of the world’s 90 other cetacean species and that abandoned fishing gear kills 300,000 whalesdolphins, and porpoises annually. The animals are callously referred to as “bycatch,” a euphemism for the nontarget animals who become caught and are then discarded or die. Experts agree that the fishing industry is one of the greatest threats to all marine wildlife worldwide.

 PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—offers a list of delicious vegan fish options, such as Gardein’s f’sh filets, Sophie’s Kitchen’s Fish Fillets, and Good Catch Plant-Based Crab Cakes, as well as a free vegan starter kit.

PETA points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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