An animal rights group
wants venue managers to take fish off the menu.
The Ethical Treatment of
Animals (PETA) has called on aquarium operators to tell their caterers to stop
serving dead fish.
PETA director Mimi Bekhechi said: “Experts agree that fish are
sensitive, interesting animals who feel pain and have complex social
structures. No one, particularly a facility that is supposed to promote respect
for sea life, needs to put them on the menu. The rise of so many delicious,
readily available faux-fish dishes means visitors can enjoy a tasty meal
without slaughtering animals.”
group’s specialist project manager, Dawn Carr, said: “Serving
fish in an aquarium is like serving monkey nuggets at a zoo.”
PETA suggests attractions instead serve vegetarian
options such as fish-free fish fingers, faux-fish cakes and vegetarian prawns.
A spokeswoman for Sea Life attractions said that where catering is
sourced externally for functions and where the organiser specifically requests
the inclusion of fish, the attraction managers will require a guarantee that
only sustainably caught produce is provided.
She said: “Sea Life respects PETA’s view that consumption of fish of any
kind is unacceptable, but this is not a stance we ourselves would advocate or
“Indeed, Sea Life’s view is that our oceans are an important and in some
cases vital food source for human populations, and that provided humane and
sustainable capture methods are employed they can continue to be an important
food resource without impacting eco-systems or wild fish populations or causing
undue suffering to individual creatures.
“We also recognise that fishing is for many coastal communities an
important livelihood; indeed the only viable source of livelihood for some
communities in some poorer regions of the world.
“Of course, we accept that there is currently significant and widespread
over-exploitation of marine life, and prolific employment of fishing methods
which are both cruel and wasteful.
Sea Life – and its partner charity the Sea Life Trust – are actively
engaged on many fronts in trying to combat these abuses, and will continue to
vigorously pursue endeavours to achieve realistic and practical improvements.”
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