March 30 is World Day for the End of Fishing and would be a great day to ditch the fish in your diet!

The fishing industry is one of the greatest pressures on the marine environment and the animals living within it, but you may not know that it also causes extreme suffering and pain to intelligent sentient beings, in the trillions.

Our latest investigation into the fishing industry revealed some horrific circumstances.

It is widely accepted that fish are able to feel fear, pain and distress – just like your dog or cat – and therefore suffer considerably during capture, landing and processing. Being chased to exhaustion, crushed under the weight of other fish in nets, quickly raised from deep water and suffering decompression effects (such as bursting bladders), being caught and confined, spiked, impaled alive on hooks and thrown live to other fish as bait are all legal, standard practices in commercial fishing.

Fish are often held after capture for hours or days, many dying or being fatally injured during this process. Most fish are either left to suffocate or die during post-capture processing, which might include gutting, filleting and/or freezing while alive and fully conscious. Some fish may be slaughtered using methods that are deemed as more humane, for example by a blow to the head or with a sharp instrument quickly inserted into their brain, but the vast majority are subject to a drawn out, painful death.

It is estimated that up to three trillion fish are caught each year and suffer in the way described. This makes commercial fishing a major animal welfare issue!

We can help fish avoid this suffering by simply not eating them. As the demand for fish reduces, so will the number of animals suffering. We just need to leave fish off our plates and instead try some of the incredible alternatives in the supermarket that mimic the taste and texture of fish perfectly, like the brand new vegan salmon and shrimp from Sophie’s Kitchen. Gardein makes delicious Fishless Filets, too, which are widely available in popular supermarkets. You can also try making fish alternatives at home with cheap simple ingredients like carrots and chickpeas!

Try some carrot lox or a chickpea tuna sandwich!