Good Things Happening for Fish!
A Fish Article from

December 2016

fish feel

Fish, the largest category of exploited animals, are sentient beings who suffer some of the worst abuses. Your donation helps enable our advocacy on their behalf. Fish Feel is an all-volunteer, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

It’s been another busy season for Fish Feel, and a productive one that promises to prove yet more fruitful. We spoke to thousands of people through our outreach efforts, and reached many more through our social media platforms. Our campaign to protect the cownose rays of the Chesapeake Bay is achieving regulatory and legislative progress. It’s also been an interesting year for fish-related issues.

 Rays of Hope for the Rays!

Cownose rays Fish Feel again teamed up with SHARK to document the cruel and environmentally reckless massacre of gentle and beloved cownose rays by brutal bowfishers. This year a single contest occurred (down from three last year). Fish Feel rented a boat and SHARK brought their boat and and drone to capture aerial footage of the onslaught, resulting in international coverage of this gruesome animal abuse.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is proposing to restrict the use of archery equipment to catch the rays, and is accepting comments through January 8th on this proposed regulation. The regulation will be very helpful to the rays if the start of the covered period is changed from July to May, which is when pregnant rays enter the Bay.

Meanwhile, on the legislative front, Delegate Shane Robinson and Senator Ron Young will introduce a bill in the upcoming Maryland legislative session to ban these bowfishing contests. Fish Feel has been awarded a grant from the Town Creek Foundation to help promote the campaign, and we are forming the Save the Rays Coalition to help advance these merciful and responsible measures. Out and About

Fish Feel traveled cross country advocating for fishes, with speaking engagements in California, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., and most recently with a presentation to the New York City Bar's Animal Law Committee. We also tabled at multiple events in these states, along with ones in Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey.

We reached yet more people with interviews on radio programs kindly hosted by Caryn Hartglass (NYC), Andrew Kirschner (Fl), Lori Kirshner (Ca) and Duncan Strauss (Fl)

A Good Net for Fishes: The Internet!

Our Facebook posts are reaching thousands of people as we continue to provide news, information and amazement on a daily basis. Our Twitter page is also very dynamic, and our new Instagram page is quickly proving popular. Please follow us on these social media outlets and share our posts with others.

What a Fish Knows

What a Fish Knows, the recently published book by ethologist Jonathan Balcombe, is receiving rave reviews! Our sincere thanks to Dr. Balcombe for mentioning Fish Feel in it. This fascinating, entertaining, and very readable book now has its own Facebook page. We are promoting this important book on-line, at tabling events, and every other chance we get.

Splash and Bubbles

Splash and Bubbles is a new, animated PBS program from The Jim Henson Company that "will help children learn marine biology and ocean science concepts while building social-emotional skills...The series also introduces the concepts of ecological balance and the importance of taking care of the ocean." Developed with an advisory panel of top marine biologists, the show is interspersed with brief, educational videos of real-life aquatic animals. “Through the adventures of Splash and Bubbles, we hope to inspire environmentalism, empathy and curiosity about the vast world of marine biology.” - CEO Lisa Henson

Vegan Seafood Is Making Waves

Seafood Source, “the leading international seafood industry resource,” reports that while the consumption of both seafood and meat substitutes is up, vegan seafood is "a way for shoppers to get the best of both worlds"!

The article focuses on Sophie's Kitchen, noting that its products are "gaining distribution in supermarket chains such as Wegmans and Safeway." Other vegan seafood companies are also mentioned, including Gardein, May Wah, VegeUSA, and Veggie World. More companies offering vegan seafood, as well as recipes and other vegan seafood resources, can be found at:

Meanwhile, Bloomberg News explains that "it's never been so easy to forgo animal-based protein," and included in "the nearly $5 billion plant-based food economy: vegan seafood"! "Growth has been phenomenal" and "Big Food is taking notice."

"[C]onsumers seem to be less aware of the environmental and human welfare issues surrounding the fishing industry. 'Land animals tend to get more sympathy,’" states Michelle Simon of the Plant Based Food Association. Fish Feel is working to change that, thanks to the help of caring and compassionate people like you!

Advocacy and Activism for Fishes

Aquatic Animal Law was among the topics featured at the 24th annual Animal Law Conference, held at Pace University in New York City this past October. The session description explains, in part: "Aquatic animals are often left out of conversations identifying problems and priorities for animal protection. They are generally excluded entirely from the legal frameworks of protection and regulation upon which advocates for other animals may rely." The panel addressed scientific and legal aspects “in order to foster more informed policy development.” See also "Legislation to Protect the Welfare of Fish, a paper by Kelly Levenda published in Animal Law Review (Vol. 20.1, Fall 2013).

Fish liberation was the focus of this year’s Veggie Pride Parade, a three-day event held in Paris during early October.

Fish Feel is looking forward to another year of advocacy and activism. We already have events lined up, including a speaking engagement at the first-ever Hudson Valley Vegfest, a 2-day event happening in October.

Return to Fishes