Fishes experience their existence differently from us. How could they not? They live and breathe in water! But like us they DO feel, they make choices, they care for each other. And they communicate in extraordinary and sophisticated ways which we can’t even imagine.

Yet recently it seems every time I switch on the tv I see them being literally brutalised and murdered on film, in ways we would never tolerate were they mammals or birds. Whether old re-runs of Dexter, a cool art house movie, or a lifestyle documentary... those fishes being pulled out of the water on vicious hooks are not actors, nor CGI. They are being murdered without a thought for a 20 second shot. It is gut-wrenching to watch them thrashing and dying on screen, like some obscene snuff movie. We have placed these animals who do not live on land so far below us that we still deem it suitable to make entertainment from dragging them out of their home environment and watching them suffocate.

Check out some of the latest science online about fish sentience, follow The Aquatic Life Institute on social media, or read Jonathan Balcombe’s fabulous book What a Fish Knows.

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