August 01, 2021

Changing the Tide by Advocating for Aquatic Animals

On August 1st, the Center for Animal Law Studies is delighted to join over 250 organizations and dedicated individuals to create a more compassionate world for fish and other aquatic animals through Respect for Fish Day.

Despite widely held beliefs that fish and other aquatic animals do not feel pain, are unintelligent or not sentient, this is simply not the case. These animals are too often left out of the legal and regulatory frameworks that provide some protection for other non-human animals. Given the widespread use of aquatic animals for human goals, it is important to consider questions raised by that usage—housing, feeding, medical care, transportation, slaughter, processing, breeding, testing, and exhibition. Our Aquatic Animal Law Initiative (AALI) was created in 2016 in order to consider the legal, as well as scientific and economic, contours of issues resulting from the use of aquatic animals.

Through AALI and our Animal Law Clinic, we are working to raise awareness of the threats that face aquatic animals and to advance legal protections for them. In our three-part blog series, Clinical Professor Kathy Hessler, Director of AALI and the Clinic, and Amy P. Wilson, Animal Law LLM Alumni (’18) and AALI Fellow, provide a deep dive into aquatic animal law. To learn more:

Swimming Against the Current: Advocating for Aquatic Animals

Aquatic animals have historically received less consideration and attention than other animals. However, the tide is slowly turning. In this blog, we share insights as to why aquatic animals are wrongly disregarded.

Tipping the Scales: How Law and Policy Fail Aquatic Animals

This blog addresses some of the ways regulatory regimes fail aquatic animals, and do not provide them with the protection they deserve.


Making Waves: Changing the Status Quo for Aquatic Animals

This blog delves into some of the work we are doing to change the status quo for aquatic animals, and how anyone can help protect aquatic animals—even from home!


The Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) was founded in 2008 with a mission to educate the next generation of animal law attorneys and advance animal protection through the law. With vision and bold risk-taking, CALS has since developed into a world-renowned animal law epicenter, with the most comprehensive animal law curriculum offered anywhere. In addition, CALS is the only program that offers an advanced legal degree in animal law and three specialty Animal Law Clinics, including the Aquatic Animal Law Initiative. CALS is a fully self-funded nonprofit organization operating under the Lewis & Clark College 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, and is only able to provide these educational opportunities through donations and grants.