"The scientific literature is quite clear.
Anatomically, physiologically and biologically, the pain system in fish is virtually the same as in birds and mammals."
Dr. Donald Broom, emeritus professor of animal welfare, Cambridge University
While fish may seem so different to us and other mammals, they are animals that deserve our respect as much as any other. It is time to let them off the hook.
Fish are sentient animals (meaning they are conscious), with intelligence and emotions, and they also display complex social behaviours. Scientific research conclusively shows that fish feel pain. Scientists have found that fish have sophisticated social structures, communicate with other fish, show curiosity, have the ability to learn from experience and observation, have long-term memory, and show evidence of tool use, altruism and multi-tasking!
Because of their complex needs fish can also suffer from stress and feel fear. Like all animals, fish deserve to have the freedom to display their normal behaviours in a natural environment. They do not deserve to be the target for sporting competitions, or used as bait, or to be raised in the space of a bathtub in factory-farming operations.
Fish also suffer in fish factory farms in New Zealand – find out more.