Slaughter at sea:
No matter the method used to catch a sea animal (or otherwise classified sea creature), the animals that are not thrown back (bycatch) after being hooked, caged or netted will either die in the process of being caught, suffocate to death on deck, freeze to death on ice, die as they are “processed” (cut apart) or be “stored” until someone decides to boil them alive or kill them in some other manner for consumption. 90 million tons of carnage a year…and shrinking, but mostly because we couldn’t continue to pull that much life out of the ocean even if we wanted it.
And what about the bycatch?
“…20 percent of shark species are threatened with extinction, primarily as a result of being caught accidentally on longlines.”
“Despite declines in recent years, hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, seabirds and marine mammals, including whales, dolphins and porpoises, die as bycatch. As many as 200,000 loggerhead sea turtles and 50,000 leatherback sea turtles are caught annually. Longline fishing also kills hundreds of thousands of seabirds when they become entangled in driftnets or caught on longline hooks when they dive for bait.” 
Remember that at least 7.3 million tons of marine life (this seems like an underestimate to me) are “unintentionally” caught annually. And as you can see from the quotes above, primarily speaking about longlining, many of these animals die from the experience.
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
- Mother Teresa
I choose to begin and end this piece with Mother Teresa’s quote because I hear it from two different perspectives:
1. If you remove a drop from the ocean, by choosing to take a sea animal’s life, it may not seem like much, but the ocean misses the drop.
2. If you, on the other hand, make the choice not to eat or use animals from the land or sea it may only feel like a drop in the ocean (how could it possibly make difference in the world today?), but the ocean (the world) would be that much better because of your choices.
So let us choose to be a hopeful drop in the ocean, instead of continuing to drain it of life.
What is Pain to a Fish?
The Last Fish
The Sad Story Behind Down & Feather Harvesting
Want to Give Up Bacon? Pet A Pig