maandag 8 juni 2009

Maandag 8 juni 2009

Vandaag te gast geweest op de World Ocean Day, georganiseerd door onder meer fotograaf en natuurbeschermer Dos Winkel. De film The end of the line ging daar in premiere over de desastreuze effecten van de visserij en viskwekerij op het leven in de oceanen. Klijk hier voor de trailer. Een aanrader!

Het enige dat er op aan te merken valt, is dat de pijnlijke dodingsmethoden van vis niet aan de orde kwam en dat de film erg gericht is op de "oplossing" van gecertificeerde visproducten die 'gegarandeerd' duurzaam zouden zijn. Echter, de zeeën zijn in zo'n deplorabele toestand dat we eerst het zeeleven de kans moeten geven om zich te herstellen, alvorens de commerciële visvangst weer aan te laten vangen.

Zelf heb ik een (Engelstalige) bijdrage mogen leveren over de wrede dodingsmethoden van vissen. Hieronder mijn bijdrage.

Tot morgen!

Ladies and gentlemen,

You’ve seen the end of the line, and Dos Winkel asked me to say a few words at the end of the line.

As the co founder of the first Party for the Animals in world history, I’ve seen a lot of animal suffering. But one of the worst of all things man can do to other living beings and our planet, is what we ‘re doing to living creatures in our oceans. 

Give a man a fish, and he can eat for a day. But teach a man how to fish,and he will destroy 80% of our planet, his own future, the future of our children and of all living beings. 

It’s just because of the fact that Oceans are not really in our backyards and that we cannot see what we are doing to our seas, that almost nobody ring the alarmbell.

People are telling us that fishes don’t have the brains to feel pain and that they are lower life forms, not able to learn very fast or very efficient.

Why do we think that a slow learner, quod non, is allowed to be eaten, more than quicker learning and more intelligent creatures?

If that makes sense, we should eat our dogs instead of our pigs! 

People are lying about the feelings of living beings in our Oceans and about the bad situation of the fish population in our Oceans. And they will keep lying till the last fish is caught and the last ocean dies.

Because of the rent they have to pay to the bank, because of their mortgage, because of their ambition to gain as much small money as possible in the shortest possible time. Man is the only living being on this planet who is destroying his own environment. 

I like to share a small poem with you about the lies of the fishermen, it’s written by William Sherwood Fox in 1954 

We ask a simple question

And that is all we wish:

Are fishermen all liars?

Or do only liars fish?

It’s more true than ever. Fishermen and their lobbyists are lying about the bad, bad situation of 80% of our small planet, and nobody is doing anything about it. Who cares?

The end of the line is a beautiful film to alarm us, but doesn’t say too much about the killing methods. We have to face that when we eat fish, we’re in a state of war with the vast majority of living beings on our planet. A majority which cannot defend themselves in any way against the terminators of this planet.

What are we doing to defenseless living beings?

Other than what people think, a fish does not die fast when taken out of the water. For example, herring choke only after more than 35 minutes, cod fish and whiting after 60 minutes. Sole and plaice take even more time to die; about 4 hours of very hard suffering.

Fish is gutted alive: we call it stripping. However, it does not die instantly from that. Herring, sole and flounder can stay alive for 10 to 35 minutes. Plaice can endure up to 50 minutes.

Another method is choking and stripping. This implies that fish are choking during 7 to 20 minutes, of which they don’t die because the brain stays intact. After that, they are gutted alive. Then they will live for another 10 to 30 minutes until death occurs.

The eel is cut behind the head as a result of which the spinal cord is severed. The oxygen supply to the head however stays intact, as a result of which the animal does not die. Hence, when the animal is gutted afterwards, it may still be conscious. A lot of eel fishermen sprinkle salt over living eels to get the slime of the skin. The eel moves wildly for a long time, trying to flee from the salt. The feeling of this salt bath on the eel’s skin can be compared to burn wounds on humans. Above all, the salt also damages the gills. Obviously, a very, very painful method. When the eel finally stops moving, it has not died yet, but is still being gutted. 

Sometimes, fish are not killed at all; the fishermen only cut off the parts that are used for consumption, after which the fish is thrown back. An example of this horrific method is shark fins. 

It is about time that the government intervenes and will issue demands for the use of more animal friendly killing methods . 

The way we explore our oceans and the way we treat the living beings in it is a big part in the crises about biodiversity, animal welfare, climate change, food , water, piracy, refugees etc. The less fish, the more crises.

I’m very happy with the initiative of Dos Winkel and his companions they’ve organized this day about the future of our seas. It’s about the future of ourselves, and the planet we’re living on. 

We have to find ways to keep our oceans sustainable for next generations. We have to act now!

And together we can!

Thank you very much.

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