Is fish a meat?

Ina Müller-Arnke

If no meat, then at least I can eat fish - right?


Fish are the often forgotten farm animals: For a long time it was assumed that fish only show reflexes and have no sense of pain. However, fish also suffer from fear, stress and pain. A study from 2016 indicates, that the behavior and serotonin levels in fish in intensive animal husbandry are reminiscent of depression, similar to that of mammals
Even today, more fish are kept in intensive animal husbandry (so-called aquaculture) than fished in the open ocean. These animals are just as crowded as other farm animals and have been shown to suffer from depression. They cannot exercise their natural behavior - some of them therefore do not reproduce, so that wild-caught animals are transferred to aquaculture.

When caught in the wild, the animals live in the wild. But the big problem is catching and slaughtering. Almost all methods of catching in the wild cause extreme suffering. An example: in the large nets there is enormous pressure at the lower end of the net, which causes external and internal damage to the fish.
The animals are then brought into the air, where they suffocate. This can take minutes or even hours. Many fish are gutted while they are still alive. They are often placed in ice water or on ice, but can remain conscious for a long period of time.

Around 80 million tons of fish were caught from the sea in 2012: Overfishing of the world's oceans is a huge problem. More than 85% of the world's fish stocks are exploited to the maximum or overfished due to unsustainable fishing. Strict management plans would be necessary to restore this. The consequences are devastating as the entire ecological system goes out of hand, as explained by the World Wildlofe Fund (WWF).
From an animal welfare point of view, switching to plant-based alternatives is absolutely to be advocated. In addition, there is an urgent need for laws to ensure that fish are kept and slaughtered in a more animal-welfare manner.