Seafood Ethics

The normative trials of Neptune’s treasure

Authored by: Craig K. Harris

The Routledge Handbook of Food Ethics

Print publication date:  July  2016
Online publication date:  July  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138809130
eBook ISBN: 9781315745503
Adobe ISBN: 9781317595502


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In the early part of the 20th century, locales in various countries began to organize fishing derbies or fishing tournaments. These ranged in orientation from highly professional competitions to opportunities for novices to experience the pleasure of catching fish. Whatever their specific orientation, they were happy, celebratory occasions. But by 1980, these derbies and tournaments began to be the targets of protests. Salmon tournaments were protested because the salmon stocks were severely depleted. By 1993 People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) were protesting that the derbies were inhumane and cruel to the fish. What had been an occasion for merriment and celebration was alleged to be unethical and immoral excess. In the decades since, that ethical tension has increased and has spread to all aspects of recreational and commercial fisheries.

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