A CAMPAIGN to rename fish as “sea kittens” in order to improve their image has been ridiculed by the Federal Opposition.
Outspoken animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is using the “sea kitten” name as part of its push to restrict fishing.
“Nobody would hurt a sea kitten!” the group says on its website.
“People don’t seem to like fish.
“We’re going to start by retiring the old name for good.
“When your name can also be used as a verb that means driving a hook through your head, it’s time for a serious image makeover.”
The website features images of fish with cats’ whiskers and ears.
PETA is using the campaign to entice people to sign a petition calling on the US Fish and Wildlife Service to stop promoting “the hunting of sea kittens (otherwise known as fishing)”.
Opposition fisheries spokesman John Cobb was not impressed with the campaign, nor with PETA.
PETA has offended some in Australia with is high-profile campaign against mulesing, the practice of cutting away the skin from a sheep’s rear to prevent flystrike.
Mr Cobb said the group had little credibility.
“It is hard to take an organisation which wants to change the name of fish seriously,” he said.
Many people might laugh at the sea kitten campaign, Mr Cobb said, but PETA’s agenda was actually more sinister: destroying the meat and fish industries.
PETA has convinced a number of large companies to boycott Australian wool which comes from mulesed flocks.
The group argues mulesing is cruel and there are better ways to prevent flystrike.