PETA Asks Alabama … Umm, Make that Alaska … To Ban Salmon Fishing

In February, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to Alabama Governor Frank Murkowski a letter asking that Murkowski put a stop to salmon fishing in that state. There was just one tiny little problem — Murkowski’s the governor of Alaska.

But that didn’t stop PETA’s Karin Robertson from addressing Murkowski as the “Governor of Alabama” in its letter asking the governor to, “. . . declare King Salmon, the state fish, off limits to fishing.”

Regardless of the confusion over states, Murkowski wasn’t having any of it. His press secretary, Becky Hultberg, told the Anchorage Daily News that the governor would like to see an increase in the king salmon catch,

We’d like to see more king salmon on the dinner plates of people on the East Coast. This clearly shows how out of touch this organization [PETA] is with the people of Alaska.

Bruce Friedrich told the Anchorage Daily News that this was simply a publicity stunt (what a shocker),

We hope that everybody will find it to be provocative and think about why we would ask the governor to take this step. The reality is that fish are interesting individuals and feel pain every bit as much as dogs and cats.

So this is murder, right?

And yet PETA doesn’t want to let us shoot these killers to defend the poor salmon.

Friedrich adds that instead of salmon, people should, “Try walnuts and spinach.” Sure Bruce, just as soon as you talk that bear into a “cruelty-free” diet.


PETA seeks statewide king fishing ban. Peter Porco and Doug O’Harra, Anchorage Daily News, February 19, 2005.

PETA tries to outlaw catching, eating of salmon. Yvonne Ramsay, KTUU.Com, February 18, 2005.

Tennessee Lawmakers Consider Constitutional Amendment to Protect Hunting, Fishing

A number of Tennessee lawmakers are lending their support for a constitutional amendment that would protect hunting and fishing in the state.

A joint resolution introduced into the Tennessee State House proposes amending the Tennessee Constitution to read,

The people have a right to hunt, fish, and harvest game, subject to such regulations and restrictions as prescribed by this constitution and general law. When reviewing such restrictions, a state court shall utilize a rational basis standard, as such standard has been defined by the courts through case law.

State Sen. Doug Jackson is supporting the same wording in the state Senate. Jackson told the Associated Press that the amendment is needed to protect hunting and fishing from well-funded anti-hunting groups such as the Humane Society of the United States,

There are very organized, very well-funded efforts to take away the right of citizens to hunt, fish and trap. I think it’s time we place in our constitution a guarantee for the citizen that they will be able to continue in that heritage.

Tennessee’s Wildlife Resources Agency supports the amendment in principle. TWRA assistant director Allen Gebhardt told the Associated Press that the agency would have to examine the wording, but that “It sounds, from our standpoint, like a wonderful idea.”

The full text of the resolution proposing to amend Tennessee’s constitution to protect hunting and fishing can be read here.


Tennessee joins states seeking ‘right to hunt’ legislation. WHNT-TV, February 2005.

Lawmakers want amendment shielding hunting rights. Matt Gouras, February 21, 2005.

PETA Wants Jimmy Carter to Give Up Angling

After former U.S. president Jimmy Carter appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and described how he was accidentally hooked on the face while fishing, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals fired off a letter urging Carter to give up his “cruel” habit of fishing.

Karin Robertson, PETA’s Fish Empathy Project Manager, wrote to Carter saying,

I am writing on the behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the world’s largest animal rights organization, with more than 800,000 members and supporters worldwide. I am writing to ask you to please consider recent research indicating that fish are as intelligent as dogs and cats and to most respectfully ask that you take up hiking, bird-watching, or boating without your rod and reel as an alternative to fishing, which causes the animals on the end of the line immeasurable agony.

I have grown up deeply impressed by your dedication to making the world a kinder, better place. Your post-presidential missions, both internationally and domestically, rightly impress the entire world. That’s why we are optimistic that our plea on behalf of other species will fall on sympathetic ears.

I heard you discussing, on Jay Leno’s program, how you were hooked through the face while fishing and the agony of having the hook pulled out of your face while you were held down. Our hope is that this experience may have given you a little insight into the fish’s point of view–every hooked fish experiences the physical agony that you went through.

Beyond the fact that fish feel pain in the same way and to the same degree that you and I do, please consider that fish are also interesting individuals–as worthy of our concern as any dog or cat, animals you would never deliberately hook through the mouth, of course.

Bruce Friedrich chimed in that unlike Carter, fish “can’t go to the hospital” for their injuries (well, if they’d get jobs and a decent health plan . . .)


PETA has a beef with Jimmy Carter’s fishing. U.S. News and World Report, January 10, 2005.

PETA Encourages President Jimmy Carter to Show Fish Some Empathy! Press Release, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Undated.

Missouri Legalizes Fishing With Bare Hands

Missouri Conservation Committee agreed in late 2004 to a trial season of handfishing in that state for summer 2005.

Some variety of handfishing is already legal in 11 states, though in Missouri it has long been punishable by a fine. Critics of handfishing argue that participants will inevitably target the most sexually mature fish and thus disproportionately deplete the number of fish capable of breeding.

According to the Associated Press, handfishing is also not for the faint of heart,

It can also be dangerous: Noodlers [another term for handfishing] hold their breath for long periods under water and sometimes come up with fistfuls of agitated snakes or snapping turtles instead of fish.

Missouri’s handfishing season will last from June 1 through July 15, 2005. Handfishers will buy a $7 permit and can catch five catfish daily, with fish under 22 inches long having to be thrown back. In addition, handfishing will only be legal along specific parts of the Fabius, St. Francis and Mississippi rivers.


Missouri approves fishing with bare hands. Scott Charlton, Associated Press, December 28, 2004.

Post-Thanksgiving Anti-Fur Protest in California

Sometimes, you just have to let the activists speak for themselves. These are pictures of a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals anti-fur demonstration held on November 26 at a Santa Rosa, California mall. The woman with the club is Dr. Lisa Kemmerer and the woman on the ground is Popy Foxheart.


Fur Free Friday in Santa Rosa. Alexandra Bury,, November 29, 2004.

PETA Launches "Turn In Your Tackle" Campaign

In September, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals launched a new “Turn In Your Tackle” campaign in an effort to convince people to abandon fishing.

In a press release announcing the new campaign, PETA said,

. . . Fish deserve compassion just as all animals do. They are intelligent and they experience pain and suffering every bit as much as any dog or cat. We’re calling on people to send us their old poles, tackle, and other fishing gear so that we can use it in our demonstrations and other Fish Empathy Project endeavors.

. . .

Donate Today!

You can make sure that Grandpa’s old fishing rod won’t cause any more pain and suffering. Donate your (and his) fishing rods and reels to PETA! Just like the fur coats that we collect, your donation of fishing gear will help with our educational displays and anti-fishing demonstrations around the world.


“Turn In Your Tackle!” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, September 2004.