"The brute animals have all the same sensations of pain as human beings, and consequently endure as much pain when their body is hurt; but in their case the cruelty of torment is greater, because they have no mind to bear them up against their sufferings, and no hope to look forward to when enduring the last extreme pain." - Thomas Chalmers, Scottish Religious Leader
These words may shock and upset some people, while very few will actually oppose this atrocious and inhumane treatment, called Fish Cruelty. Fish is not only used as a food, but is also exploited for fishing pleasure and as a decoration item. The ironic part is that fish, like other animals, feel pain and stress, but they are unable to express it the way other vertebrates can. The definition of Fish Cruelty therefore extends to subjecting aquatic beings to any type of unfavorable environment that can be detrimental to their health or psyche in any way. The ensuing discussion identifies some key aspects counted as Fish Cruelty and the steps you can take to prevent it.Fish Cruelty – The Methodologies.
Fishing as a Hobby. Right from using a Fish Hook for catching small fish to employing huge nets for the larger ones, all these processes are adverse to nature and cause pain & stress to the fish. Sometimes Gaff Hooks are used to fetch big fish. They are then dragged on to the ship and pulled out, causing them injury and pain.
Use of Chemicals, Paints & Dyes to Improve the Marketability of Fish. Most of the fish like Tiger Barbs, and Colored Botias are artificially hued. To color them, these fish are placed in acid solution to remove their protective Slime Coat, which is an integral part of their Immune System. These are then colored with semi-permanent Fluorescent Dyes and replaced into irritant bath to regenerate their Slime Coat, all the while agonizing the fish. Some of these fish are unable to bear the trauma and die, while the others lose their color in few months. In some fish, dyes are injected in the body to get them new improved color such as in Blue, Green, & Purple Tetras. These dyes are Carcinogenic in nature and get stored in the cells of the fish. To fight with these foreign bodies, the Immune System of the fish works rigorously & gets strained. This weakens the overall immunity in the fish, while also increasing their stress level.
Recreational Fishing. Also known as, Sport Fishing, Recreational Fishing is fishing for pleasure or competition. Angling, Game Fishing, and Catch & Release, are all a part of Sport Fishing. In catch & release, the captured fish is released in water after the hook is removed. Most of these fish succumb to the stress & trauma they undergo during the sport activity. Fish are also used as Live Baits for catching the big Predator Fish such as, Shark & Tuna. Needless to say that this is the most tortuous way to treat a life. The bait suffers bites, injuries, pain, panic, stress, and ultimately death.
Commercial Fishing and Fish Farming. These involve fishing for money. Tons of aquatic animals are netted out from the water bodies and are killed. The killed fish is sold as a food item to be consumed by all the flesh lovers. Many of these fish are chopped or slaughtered when they are still conscious or are left to die of suffocation on the board. It is believed that the different ways of killing, impart different taste to the animal cuisines. Fish farming or Aquaculture is the method of raising and multiplying fishes in captivity, such as, in Ponds or Aquariums. No matter how big the tank is, it cannot match the free entirety of a natural water body. As a result, the fish in these have to live in cramped position and unhealthy condition throughout their lives.
Using Fish as a Mascot or Decorative Item. Using fish as a Mascot or as a decorative item entails captivating fish in miserable environment at times. A fish naturally found in an ocean, if kept in a bowl or in a small plastic bag, could obviously be not said to live in an amenable environment. Fish are also used as decorative items. Betta Fish usually needs ample space for a healthy living but many people keep them in Bowls with insufficient water. Some people keep fish in Aquarium without being aware of the fish behavior and their environmental requirement. Preventing Fish Cruelty.
Apart from avoiding all the above acts of Fish Cruelty, you may additionally follow the following:
The Act. If you observe Fish Cruelty anywhere, you can always book a complaint under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (POCTA). This Act aims to
Prevent cruelty towards animals;
Encourage the considerate treatment of animals; and
Enlighten the community to prevent cruelty towards animals.
The Agencies. Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) are a couple of agencies you can use to file your complaint against Fish Cruelty.
Go Vegetarian. Adopting a vegetarian diet is one of the key steps to prevent Fish Cruelty.
Careful Captivating. Fish keepers must ensure that the fish in the aquarium are in healthy environment by especially maintaining the cleanliness, inmates’ compatibility, and high water quality in the tank.
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