‘Rubbish Angling Classic’? PETA Pushes for New Take on Portsmouth Competition 

‘Rubbish Angling Classic’? PETA Pushes for New Take on Portsmouth Competition

Portsmouth – Ahead of this year’s Sea Angling Classic, PETA sent a letter today to Portsmouth City Council, urging it to transform the event into an eco-conscious, animal-friendly “litter fishing” competition involving the use of nets or pickers to collect the rubbish polluting local waterways. To sweeten the deal, PETA is offering to award a grand prize to the top litter collector.

In the letter, PETA notes that millions of birds, turtles, and other animals sustain debilitating and deadly injuries after swallowing hooks or becoming entangled in fishing lines. Over time, abandoned fishing gear – 640,000 tonnes of which enters the world’s oceans every year – breaks down into microplastics and leaches toxic chemicals  into the environment.

“If people were doing to dogs and cats what anglers do to fish, they would rightly be put in prison. Fish are intelligent animals, too, who experience pain and fear, just as we do,” writes PETA Senior Campaigns Manager Kate Werner. “We hope that instead of supporting angling – a cruel activity that tortures and kills animals and destroys habitats – Portsmouth City Council will help tackle animal suffering and pollution by ensuring that organisers switch to environmentally friendly litter fishing, which would also promote Portsmouth’s sustainability agenda.”

Anglers pierce fish through the mouth with a sharp metal hook and drag them out of the water. Their gills often collapse, and their swim bladders can rupture because of the sudden change in pressure. Studies show that catch-and-release fishing causes the animals severe psychological trauma – and they often die of shock. For all these reasons, PETA encourages everyone to leave sea life in peace and enjoy vegan seafood instead – and to stick to cruelty-free outdoor activities, such as kayaking, hiking, birdwatching, and camping.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any way” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. The letter to Portsmouth City Council is available here. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk or follow the group on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.


Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]