To the editor,
The two recent shark attacks in Anna Maria Island - one man was bitten while spear fishing and the other was wounded after he dumped his bait in the water while wade fishing - have understandably made beachgoers wary. But people really are the biggest predators of the sea: Humans kill nearly 100 million sharks for their fins and cartilage, along with billions of other sea animals annually.
By lining up at seafood buffets, we have decimated fish populations and caused marine life to suffer. When fish are dragged from the ocean depths, they undergo excruciating decompression - the internal pressure ruptures their swimbladders, pops out their eyes, and pushes their stomach out through their mouth. Many slowly suffocate onboard fishing vessels; others are still alive when their throats and bellies are slit open.
We can all enjoy going to the beach without killing the animals who inhabit the ocean. If you're hooked on the taste of seafood, try faux fish and other tasty vegan foods. See www.PETA.org for recipes and product suggestions.