To mark Earth Day (22 April), PETA India has teamed up with Zen Digital Media to put up billboards in the sea! The billboards show a turtle ensnared in plastic netting as a reminder that killing fish also costs turtles their lives. Up to 1 million tonnes of fishing gear – which can take 600 years to degrade – enters the oceans every year, killing over 250,000 turtles who get caught in it.
The billboards can be seen at Juhu Beach and on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. Billboards with the same artwork have also been erected by PETA India in other coastal places: Chennai, Goa, Kochi, and Kolkata.
Called “bycatch” by the fishing industry, non-target animals killed by fishing gear also include 720,000 seabirds, 300,000 whales and dolphins, 345,000 seals and sea lions, and 100 million sharks and rays. PETA India notes that fishing is considered the biggest threat to marine wildlife.
More fish are killed for food each year than all other animals combined. Fish feel pain as acutely as mammals do, have long-term memories, and sing underwater – yet they and other marine animals are impaled, crushed, suffocated, dropped into pots of boiling water, or cut open and gutted, all while they’re still conscious.
The best way to help sea life is to leave animals off your plate.