PETA Asks Fisherman Who’s Boat Got Flipped by Tuna to Give Up Fishing

As Koloa, Hawaii, angler Anthony Wichman recovers from nearly drowning after a 230-pound ahi tuna he had stabbed in the eye with a fishing gaff pulled him into the water, PETA is encouraging him to make Friday’s fishing expedition his last. As the group writes in a letter sent to him today, fish experience pain and fear just as all animals—including humans—do, and as PETA’s “Silent Scream” video illustrates, fish suffer immensely when they are impaled, yanked out of the water, stabbed, and suffocated.

The fish that didn't get away!

The fish that didn’t get away!

“Mr. Wichman survived the terrifying ordeal of being caught on a line, pulled out of his natural environment, and deprived of oxygen—so we’re hoping he’ll now think of what all the fish, including his most recent victim, go through and not want to inflict that pain and fear on them,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA hopes he will make the compassionate decision to go vegan, and we’re willing to help him.” PETA is sending him a vegan starter kit and recipes for faux-fish dishes.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

Here is a copy of the letter:

July 23, 2013

Anthony Wichman
5496 Emi Rd.
Koloa, HI 96756

Dear Mr. Wichman:

I am writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 3 million members and supporters, including thousands across Hawaii. As a former fisher myself, I urge you to use your recent brush with death as an opportunity to put yourself in the place of the living being you were trying to kill and to consider the value of her life and others like her. As terrifying as it must have been for you to be nearly drowned by a 230-pound tuna, please consider how frightening and painful the experience must have been for the animal who was killed after a struggle that you initiated by punching a gaff through her back and then her eye while she began to suffocate after having been pulled out of the water. With all due respect, I ask you to do some soul-searching and abandon fishing for good.

As this tuna demonstrated, fish, like other animals, value their lives and don’t want to be killed. Studies show that fish have complex nervous systems and feel pain in much the same way as dogs and cats and we do.

Fishing causes immense physical and psychological suffering to fish, who have particularly sensitive mouths and lips that they use like we use our hands. Impaling a fish through the mouth and then dragging him or her out of the water is the equivalent of someone driving a hook through your hand and yanking your entire body weight into the water, where you wouldn’t be able to breathe. As PETA’s short video “Silent Scream” shows, even though fish cannot vocalize to express their pain and fear, there is no room for doubt that they suffer greatly when they are impaled, gaffed, gutted alive, or left to suffocate slowly.

Witnessing the struggle and suffocation of a bloody founder I yanked from the waters off Catalina during a teenage fishing trip made me recognize that fishing is, quite simply, a sadistic “pleasure” derived from another’s misery, and I hung up my rod for good. I sincerely hope that you will consider this point of view in the wake of your fight to the finish with the unfortunate tuna.

Kindest regards,

Dan Mathews
Senior Vice President

One Response

  1. ALOHA FROM ‘KAUAI TOURS DIRECT” FOUNDER STANDAMAN!RESPECTFULLY MR. MATHEWS>FLOUNDER/NOT/FOUNDER! I FISHED CATALINA IN THE 60′S AND 70′S WHEN I SUMMERED IN CALI. WE MOSTLY CAUGHT ABUNDANT MACKEREL AND ABUNDANT BONITO! THE HALIBUT/FLOUNDERS AND SEA BASS WERE BEING OVER FISHED BY ][TOO][ MANY][NOVICE][ UNSUSTAINABLE ;;FISHERS''THANK YOU DAN MATHEWS FOR ''HANGING UP YOUR POLE! NOW PETA CAN SAVE THE CHICKENS AND ALL THE FISH THEY WANT! YET SENDING A LETTER LIKE THIS TO SOMEONE WHO JUST HAD A NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE IS PRETTY ''IN-HUMANE'' AND SHOW'S ALOT OF DIS-RESPECT TO A HIGHLY RESPECTED FAMILY HERE IN HAWAII. [PETA] CAN DO A MUCH BETTER POSITIVE P.R. CAMPAIGN![[ESPECIALLY WITH THE $UN-LIMITED$$ BUDGET YOU$$HAVE$$SIR!! PERSONALLY WE ARE FOCUSED ON WOMAN AND CHIDREN ADVOCACY FOR FAMILIES [OHANA'S] AND IN TODAY’S ‘REAL’ WORLD LOCAL FISHERMAN LIKE THIS PUT THIER LIFE ON THE LINE TO FEED FAMILIES INSTAED OF SHIPPING EXPENSIVE FISH FROM CHINA ETC../PETA HAS ALL THE CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS THAT COULD REALLY HELP KIDS/FAMILIES IN DIRE NEED? PLEASE RESPECT MEAT/FISH/POULTRY EATERS/ AND DO NOT USE ”HIGH PRESSURE SALES TACTICS TO FORCE FEED A ”VEGAN LIFESTYLE”?? WHO TRAINED YOU SIR?? A MUCH BETTER APPROACH WOULD BE FISH/MEAT IN MODERATION AND THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF EATING MORE FRUIT/VEGGIES! PLEASE FEEL FREE TO HAVE YOUR PRESIDENT AND OR P.R. TEAM CONTACT ME ANYTIME SO WE CAN WORK TOGETHER WITH LOVE [ALOHA] AND RESPECT TO HELP COMMUNITIES/FAMILIES ESPECIALLY KID’S/ AND THE OCEAN/EARTH AND ALL THE ‘ANIMALS THAT NEED ARE PROTECTION ”SUCH AS THE OVERFISHED FLOUNDERS/HALIBUT AND BLUEFIN TUNAS [THE FISH IN THE PHOTO IS A YELLOW FIN TUNA AND THEY REALLY SLAUGHTER THEM IN MEXICO 'CABO SAN LUCAS'! HERE IN HAWAII WE ARE ALL OHANA [FAMILY] AND SHOW RESPECT TO ALL CULTURES AND GENDERS AND RELIGOIN’S AND EVEN VEGAN’S ETC.. >THE LAST THING YOU EVER WANT TO DO IS BE ”DIS-RESPECTFUL’ IN HAWAII WHERE RESPECT IS SHOWN TO THOSE WHO SHOW RESPECT WITH ALOHA!! TO A FOUNDER AND CALL A FLOUNDER A FOUNDER?LET US ALL LEARN AND MOVE FORWARD TO HELP PEOPLE AND ANIMALS [IN THAT ORDER]! TREAT PEOPLE AND PET’S/ANIMALS WAY WE LIKE TO BE TREATED NOT LIKE CANIBAL’S SIR NOW IS THE TIME TO BE REAL EVEN WHEN YOU ENJOY YOUR ”KOSHER” TOFU DOG I WILL RESPECT YOU IF YOU LEARN TO SHOW ALOHA AND RESPECT OTHERS! PLEASE CHEW ON THIS WITH YOUR PETA FOUNDER AND CONTACT ME ANYTIME STANLEYWOLSHIN@YAHOO.COM TOLL-FREE-1-866-376-3082 KAUAI TOURS DIRECT.COM P.S HOW MANY FAMILIES DO YOU THINK THIS FISH FED? PLENTY!

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