Do You Sympathize With Gulf Coast Fish Or Fishermen?

Each night, when I watch the local news in Sarasota, Florida, I become even more apprehensive about the BP oil spill. I feel an urgent need to see the local beaches before they’re ruined. I moved here seven months ago, and, so far, my only glimpses of them have been on television. Almost every night, reporters interview local residents and tourists at the beach, asking them if they’re worried about the oil reaching Florida.  And every night, they ask local fishermen and seafood restaurants if they are suffering because of the oil spill. While I feel sad about the beaches and bad for the people who make their living from tourism, without harming animals, I have no sympathy for the fishermen. I’m tired of hearing how “unfortunate” it is that they can’t kill the fish if the oil kills them first. I’m concerned about the fish for the fishes’ sake. They are the ones who are really suffering.

 

Can you imagine trying to swim through a never-ending glob of oil, without enough oxygen?  Marine scientists now say that fish and other wildlife are fleeing the oil and clustering in cleaner waters along the coast, where there will ultimately be more competition for oxygen; they can be easily devoured by predators; and, perhaps worst of all, they can easily be caught by fishermen. One of the saddest accounts I’ve read since the oil rig explosion is in the June 17 Associated Press report about the exodus:

 

“The migration of fish away from the oil spill can be good news for some coastal residents. Tom Sabo has been fishing off Panama City, Fla., for years, and he’s never seen the fishing better or the water any clearer than it was last weekend 16 to 20 miles off the coast. His fishing spot was far enough east that it wasn’t affected by the pollution or federal restrictions, and it’s possible that his huge catch of red snapper, grouper, king mackerel and amberjack was a result of fish fleeing the spill.

After what has surely been a harrowing experience for the fish, who are doing all they can to survive and reach safe waters, I can’t think of a crueler, more heart-wrenching end. With such callous, selfish behavior, it seems these sentient beings are better off dying in the oxygen-depleted waters than onboard fishing vessels or on fishing hooks. Great options.

 

I’ve heard enough sympathetic news stories about the fishing industry. It’s time we focus on the real victims of the oil spill—birds, fish, turtles, crabs, dolphins, whales, and other marine animals. The first dead whale—a sperm whale—was recently found floating 77 miles south of the oil spill in the Gulf. While experts aren’t yet certain if exposure to oil caused the whale’s death, I don’t think any of us would be surprised if it did. 

 

We may not think of this catastrophe as cruelty to animals in the same way that we think of kicking a dog as cruelty to animals, but, it is essentially, as PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk points out, the largest case of cruelty to animals in U.S. history. And BP should be charged with cruelty to animals if the criminal investigation turns up willful fraud and negligence.

 

Because more than anyone else, animals are suffering because of the spill.

IndyBay Media

177 comments

Renata B
Renata B2 months ago

I have seen other posts here: I really wonder what Care2 has become. I don't think it is worth wasting my time trying to explain the difference between an algae and a fish. Biology: it's about nervous system and emotions. If you don't see the difference between an animal and a plant it means that your teachers were totally incompetent. And anyway, animals must destroy many more plants than a vegan can ever eat, just to produce "meat". This is why meat is unsustainable. Please educate yourselves at least as much as to be able to realise on what network to register.

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Renata B
Renata B2 months ago

Vanessa S: your reasoning is quite twisted and contradictory, and on so many levels. I certainly agree that if there were not a request there would be no fishermen but this doesn't eliminate the role of fishermen. I mean, you can apply this to everything: slaughterhouses workers, professional killers ... whatever the "profession": there are many ways to make a living (without going back to quote the horrors of WW2 where these horrors provided jobs and “livings”). We are responsible for our actions. One can ask me ... I don't know ... to poison my neighbour and pay me for this, but it’s up to me whether to accept or not and if I do, well, I have to pay for the consequences.
As far as "sustainable fishing" is concerned well ... what about "sustainable culling" of humans? We are by far too many on this planet: would you like to be part of the culled ones? The truth is that life is dear to everyone, a fish, a dog, a human, a monkey, a pig or a chicken…

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Peggy B
Peggy B2 months ago

Noted

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Vanessa S.
Vanessa S6 years ago

We need to have compassion for all living beings, not just animals. We can't just blame the fishermen for the demise of the fish. There would not be a need for fishermen if there was not a demand for fish. If anybody has a concern for the fish, the first thing they should do is dedicate themselves to the conservation of the ocean and sustainable fishing practices. Once those two things are stabalized, go from there to further the animal rights movement for the fish. Condemning people for trying to make a living for their families IS NOT going to gain more supporters for the rights of fish.

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Carmen Bouwhuis Jansen

I hate oil !!!

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Ann Eastman
Ann Eastman7 years ago

I was very much struck by the compassion in Paula P's comment, and by her observation that the world has seemed to forget about the 11 killed in the explosion and their families.

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Sarah D.
Sarah D7 years ago

"Fishermen are killers."

So are other fish like bigger fish and sharks, and sea mammals like dolphins, whales and seals and otters who eat fish and other sea mammals.

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Sarah D.
Sarah D7 years ago

"My sympathy is for the marine life. People can survive, the fish are doomed."

What about when the plants end up being poisoned?

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Lisa Bxx
L X7 years ago

Sorry--that was the mangrove estuary destruction news link.

This is the Gulf of Mexico pet emergency news link:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100715/ap_on_re_us/us_gulf_oil_spill_pet_dumping

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Lisa Bxx
L X7 years ago

Shelters filling up as Gulf pet owners struggle

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/07/16/mangroves.threat.un.report/index.html?hpt=T2

"Other dogs and cats were abandoned by fishermen whose incomes were abruptly cut off and by families forced to downsize, moving into apartments that prohibit pets.

"It's more than we can handle," Asevedo said. "We have way more coming in than going out."

"The trend is nothing new to people who work with animals. From California to Florida, millions of pets were abandoned in 2007 and 2008 as the U.S. economy floundered. The real estate bubble burst, homes went into foreclosure and people were forced to make tough choices as they scaled back their lifestyles.

"It comes down to feeding your family or feeding your dog. That's the decision they have to make," said Colleen Bosley of Catholic Charities of New Orleans, which is now partnering with the SPCA to supply pet food at its weekly food distributions in coastal parishes.

"The SPCA, backed by PetCo Foundation, Del Monte and others, is trying to help on other fronts, too, chief executive Ana Zorrilla said..."

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