cameron eaton
 

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2012/13 Fish

While reading of the exploding squid population off the west coast of America, I came across reports that, due to overfishing, it is estimated the worlds oceans will be depleted of edible fish stocks by the year 2060. That's pretty alarming.

 

TUNA SCHOOL
acrylic on canvas
91x183cm
2013
     

And the only real motivation for fishing our oceans to extinction is short term financial gain. It seems incredible that collectively, we may not have the will or the means to avoid this disastrous eventuality. But then, what apex predator ever actively manages their own consumption for the benefit of all. In my mind the evidence is clear - if you needed any further proof - that we are but animals.

FISH PORTRAIT (left)
acrylic on board
60x60cm
2012

FISH PORTRAIT 2 (right)
acrylic on board
60x60cm
2012

It reminded me of the old fisherman's maxim, fish don't feel pain. I've always thought the notion of fish as painless to be totally ludicrous. I suspect the idea is fostered to eliminate guilt that may come after the brutality of pursuing, harvesting and ultimately killing the catch.
FISH PORTRAIT 3 (left)
acrylic on board
60x60cm
2012

FISH EYE (right)
acrylic on board
60x60cm
2012

     

Then I came across a post on Dr Karl Kruszelnicki's ABC science blog about this very subject. He referenced a study made by a group of Tasmanian scientists observing the behaviour of trout specimens under distress and then again, after administering pain relief. It turns out having a hook in your mouth, being asphyxiated or even bumped over the head hurts fish just as much as it hurts us.
A more humane way to kill these animals I don't know, but we shouldn't pretend we don't hurt them.

Tuna School
pen+ink on paper
50x70cm
2012
     
     


cameron eaton
 

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