Florida Keys

PETA to Key West: Stop killing and eating fish

A new ad campaign by PETA asks people in Key West to stop eating fish.
A new ad campaign by PETA asks people in Key West to stop eating fish. PETA

An animal rights organization has placed anti-fishing ads in Key West, one of the world’s top fishing destinations, saying fish suffer horrendous deaths on boats.

The ads feature a woman snorkeling amid a school of fish. “Look, don’t cook,” reads the ad copy. “Enjoy fish without eating them.”

PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, wants people to go vegan and give up eating fish. It chose Key West because it is one of TripAdvisor’s top snorkeling destinations.

The ads, located at Key West bus shelters, will stay up for eight weeks. Locations include North Roosevelt Boulevard by the city marina, Palm Avenue, College Road and Smathers Beach.

“Just as humans do, fish feel pain and fear and value their own lives — and they deserve our compassion,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA’s thought-provoking ads urge anyone who enjoys seeing fish swimming freely in their ocean home to help protect all of them by going vegan.”

Key West without fishing?

“Probably half of the residents here that survive off the fishing industry would have to leave,” said Jamie Snediker-Ferrer, who owns the Gulfstream IV, a tourism-based recreational fishing boat and vice president of the Key West Charter Boat Association. “This is a fishing town and that’s what we do. Grits and grunts didn’t come out of nowhere. When times are tough, that’s how we survive.”

Gulfstream customers take their catches to local restaurants and have it cooked for them, she said.

“For $18.95,” she said. “There’s that side of it, too.”

PETA says the fishing industry supports the abuse of fish.

“Fish slowly suffocate or are crushed to death when they’re dragged from the oceans in huge nets, and the throats and stomachs of those who survive are cut open on the decks of fishing boats,” PETA said in a news release.