PETA’s (The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) active anti-fishing campaign has been successful in Europe, and now it has brought its “trunk show” to the U.S. PETA claims more than 450,000 members among its allied associations. One of the organization’s goals is to stop sportfishing at all costs because PETA considers it cruel. PETA has mapped out a tremendous PR campaign that encompasses every possible angle, and it has established a network of protesters that is unbelievably persistent and testy.
PETA’s multi-pronged program is based on anti-fishing propaganda, protests and even more aggressive, if not belligerent, tactics such as, throwing rocks in streams and when anglers are fishing, using SCUBA divers to disrupt tournaments (by scaring off fish and even cutting lines), defacing fishermen’s vehicles with anti-fishing slogans, etc.
PETA even has a survey conducted by its volunteers who are acting as pollsters for the mythical “National Survey on Sport Fishing.” The cleverly-designed questions erroneously lead the angler to believe that fishing is cruel.
For those who think PETA will be minimally influential, think again. In the 1960s and early 1970s, big-game hunters proudly discussed their safaris and shikars; even non-hunters admired them. Hollywood produced more than a dozen movies centered on hunting safaris. Fashion and “shelter” magazines featured lavish pictorials of hunters’ trophy rooms. Then the anti-hunting people stepped in. Initially, people dismissed their efforts, but today a big-game hunter is reluctant to discuss his hunting success except with other hunters. Can’t happen to fishermen? Don’t bet on it, if we don’t do something about it soon.
Ever hear of Pisces? Headquartered in Bristol, England, this organization was initially known as Campaign for the Abolition of Angling (CAA), but in 1994 it changed its name to Pisces. Whereas PETA wants to protect all “animals” including fish, Pisces concentrates entirely on fish and fishing. One of its goals is to ban angling everywhere, and Pisces claims some success in banning angling on several European waters.
But Pisces’ tentacles reach beyond sportfishing. Here’s an example. One answer to relieving the shortage of fish and supplying the increased demand is aquaculture, or fish farming. It is becoming a big business: Rainbow trout, tilapia, and catfish are some species raised on fish farms and available in supermarkets. In the United States it’s a one-billion dollar business; since this provides only 10 percent of the fish and seafood we consume, the potential is enormous.
According to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, aquaculture production will have to be increased by 700 percent in order to meet demands in the next two decades. But Pisces strongly opposes fish farming and campaigns heavily against it. The organization works on adults in the “short term” but is busy brainwashing youngsters for the future.
Here are a few passages from “Freda the Fish,” an essay that Pisces widely distributes among young students. Note that while most of original essay relates to fish farming, Pisces does not let any opportunities escape, so it knocks angling and anglers, too:
“It was only the wire netting of the cage that separated Freda and her friends from the sea….When she was younger Freda would swim her way over to the netting and gaze longingly at the sea, dreaming, of swimming freely… ”
Later when Freda and Felix escaped from the fish farm…”‘Owww. Help!’” Felix suddenly cried. His lip was caught on a hook. He thrashed around in agony and Freda could only watch as he was dragged out of the water….
“She vaguely remembered being told about anglers….the only way she could console herself was with the thought that at least Felix had a few wonderful days of freedom before he had been so brutally killed…”
By the way, how did Freda escape from the fish farm? There was a hole in the net, but she was too big to fit through it. So she thought it out. She quit eating for days, lost weight and escaped. Anthropomorphism at its best. Hello. Bambi is back!