900,000 Menhaden fish were caught, killed, and dumped back into the Gulf of Mexico by a Louisiana-based vessel.

Source: Pew/YouTube

The vessel is owned by Omega Protein Corporation, and they dumped a net of 900,000 dead menhaden and other bycatch back into the ocean last week after they couldn’t get the fish into the boat. The net was filled with an estimated weight of 500,000 pounds.

Many are not concerned at all over the loss, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said that just 2 percent of the menhaden in the Gulf of Mexico are harvested each year. They said the event of losing nearly 1 million fish was “insignificant.”

“Regardless of whether statistically it’s true or not, to characterize this incident or this amount of waste as insignificant is an unfortunate choice of words,” David Cresson, executive director of the Louisiana chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association, told Outdoor Life.

To catch menhaden, boats approach massive schools and surround them with a 1500-foot-long net. There are huge numbers of menhaden fish, but they are extremely important for healthy marine ecosystems and they play a vital role in the food chain system.

The industry wants us to believe that to solve overfishing, we need to fish more. However, this is incredibly unsustainable. Apex predators are disappearing, bottom trawling is tearing the ocean apart, and fishing vessels wage war on the oceans. GMO fish are not the answer to overfishing. If we want to save marine wildlife, dietary choices will have the most impact.

According to Counting Animals, “An individual who chooses to take on a vegetarian diet can save over 225 fish and 151 shellfish a year. If just half of the U.S. population (about 150,000,000 individuals) eliminated seafood from their diets, that would mean about 33,750,000,000 fish would remain in the ocean every year.”

Everything nutritious that people believe they are getting from fish can get from other sources. Check out How to Ditch Fish Oil for Plant-Based Sources and Why Flaxseed Oil is Healthier than Fish Oil. Fish often have been exposed to many toxic chemicals like mercury which the consumer then eats when they eat the fish. Fish are also sentient creatures and can feel pain. There is no reason that we need to continue to eat these animals.

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