SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Multi-Catch Fishing

Animals in the Wild

SPCA advocates for compulsory regulation of minimum standards for the design and use of all types of fishing equipment, with specific attention being given to the provision of escape mechanisms and other strategies to reduce by-catch of non-target species and protection against the negative consequences of nets throughout the ocean, such as damage to habitat.

SPCA opposes the use of drift nets and long-line fishing as these methods result in the indiscriminate capture and the killing of non-targeted species (e.g. marine mammals and birds).

SPCA advocates for fish to only be killed after they have been humanely stunned.

Percussive and electrical stunning methods can improve the humaneness of killing due to their ability to cause rapid loss of consciousness. Humanely stunning large numbers of fish can be achieved with automatic percussive stunning devices to ensure consistent and effective stunning and avoid the need for the operator to handle the fish. To reduce stress, the addition of anaesthetic agents may be used to sedate fish prior to killing. Keeping fish in water until the moment they are stunned can also reduce stress prior to killing.

SPCA opposes stunning or killing methods for fish that do not minimise negative impacts to welfare.

SPCA opposes killing fish through practices such as suffocation, bleeding without stunning, death through asphyxiation, and stunning using carbon dioxide gas. Our organisation opposes the processing (e.g. gutting, filleting or freezing) of live fish, and the sale of live fish for food at markets.

SPCA opposes the killing of wild predators, such as seals or seabirds, to protect fish farms and the practice of feeding farmed fish with wild caught fish.

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