Is fishing unethical?

connorlindeman

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I used to enjoy fishing and I kinda want to start again.
The problem is, my mom thinks that its cruel to the fish.
What are your opinions on this?
How badly does fishing hurt the fish?
 

wasmewasntit

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As long as every precaution is taken to at least try and prevent injury or death to the fish...especially when recreationally fishing and not catching them for eating...there is not too much of an argument against fishing. Its not like you are going to wipe out an entire river or lake stock like, for example the big mega trawlers do at sea.

If sea fishing you might end up with something like this....and this one was freed right after being caught

 
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connorlindeman

connorlindeman

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As long as every precaution is taken to at least try and prevent injury or death to the fish...especially when recreationally fishing and not catching them for eating...there is not too much of an argument against fishing. Its not like you are going to wipe out an entire river or lake stock like, for example the big mega trawlers do at sea.

If sea fishing you might end up with something like this....and this one was freed right after being caught

Yeah the fishing I would be doing is purely sport. Not eating what I catch.
 

wasmewasntit

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Yeah the fishing I would be doing is purely sport. Not eating what I catch.
Then I don't see a problem tbh.

As long as the hook is removed cleanly and quickly and the fish returned to the water free or in a keep net for a while in the water and then freed later, there is not alot of harm being done to those fish. Granted the hook will hurt but is momentary.

More at risk from fishing are the birds and animals like swans and ducks who can often be killed by carelessly disposed of line and hooks that get stuck in their throat whilst they gather food from the water or bank areas.
 

CaptainBarnicles

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Would it be the same argument catching deer for fun? Trapping them in something that might tear a hole in their leg, or maybe they twist or break an ankle trying to get away. The injury may not kill them outright but it would be painful and maybe stress them enough to compromise their immune system and perhaps their wounds get infected and leave them vulnerable to predators? 🤔 interesting debate
 

GaryE

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Call me oversensitive, but since I don't eat the fish I catch, I gave it up. Fishing was fun, but too many swallowed hooks combined with more of an understanding of the nervous system of fish made me rethink. I am not righteous if others do it, and regularly point out spots to anglers that my quiet drifting kayak allows me to spot. But I won't fish myself, unless it's for a tank.
 

Colin_T

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I consider fishing to be a blood sport. You lure a fish in with food or plastic/ rubber items that imitate food. Then you shove a huge steal hook through its mouth. The fish can't get off and after you drag it out of the water, it starts to suffocate while you rip a big chunk of flesh out of its mouth with the barb of the hook. Some people hold the fish by the gill cover or neck or mouth, which hurts the fish. Other people use a dry rag to hold the fish and rip off most of the mucous in the process.. After that you either dump it in a bucket and leave it to suffocate, or throw it back in the water when there is a chance the wound gets infected or attracts predators that eat the fish.

If you bend the barb down on the hook, it does significantly less damage to the fish.

If you go fishing to catch a meal and catch 2 or 3 fish, kill them quickly and cleanly and leave, that's fine. I would prefer that to people going out and catching hundreds of fish in a day and injuring them all.

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I actually did experiments on this back in the early 90s. I had an anemonefish in a marine tank that had heaps of rock in. I couldn't use nets to get the fish out so I used tiny hooks and bent the barbs down. I put some fish food on the hook and tried to catch the fish. I caught a bunch of fish in the tank before catching the anemonefish, but it got off.

All the fish that were hooked would not go near food of any sort for the next 3 days. And most would not touch food for 5 days after they had been hooked. When the fish eventually started eating again, they were very cautious about taking any food, including live brineshrimp.

Fortunately none of the fish got infections in their mouths where the hook went through the mouth/ jaw.

After a couple of weeks I tried again but fed most of the fish first and then tried fishing the anemonefish out. I got it out and it was not happy.

Other people have used hooks and lines to catch rainbowfish up north. The fish that were caught did develop bacterial and fungal infections in their mouths where the hook had been. They also didn't eat for several weeks and required medication to treat the infections. I don't know if they used barbless hooks or hooks with barbs but the fish were traumatised and physically injured by the catching process.

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Imagine having a huge piece of curved sharpened steal ripped through your jaw, then you get dragged underwater and held there for a couple of minutes while someone rips the hook out of your mouth, taking a large chunk of flesh. Then throwing you back on the land. Think about the size of the hooks compared to the fish, then think about a proportional sized hook being shoved through your jaw or cheek.

We suffer pain when we get a splinter in our finger. Imagine what it's like having a huge metal hook shoved through your jaw, then ripped out taking a chuck of flesh with it.
 

Rocky998

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Use learned how to remove hooks quickly and easily. I rarely have an issue just sliding the hook out even if barbed.
I do not see it as cruel but I do feel bad when I see the fish in pain...
I usually always talk to the fish and try to calm it even though I know it doesn't understand my words I hope it understands my tone...
But I LOVE fishing and could never give it up.
 

wasmewasntit

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You could always try netting fish instead of using hook & line

Might take longer to catch a fish....but with the practice gained within an aquarium when trying to catch that fish that refuses to co-operate....you could be successful in adopting the same method in a river or lake - the only thing to remember is that the river and lake doesn't have corners where you can trap said fish like you can in an aquarium...and you might get pretty wet too if netting in a river or lake and accidently fell in ;)
 

CaptainBarnicles

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Use learned how to remove hooks quickly and easily. I rarely have an issue just sliding the hook out even if barbed.
I do not see it as cruel but I do feel bad when I see the fish in pain...
I usually always talk to the fish and try to calm it even though I know it doesn't understand my words I hope it understands my tone...
But I LOVE fishing and could never give it up.
You don't see it as cruel but you feel bad that it's in pain...how is inflicting unnecessary pain to an innocent animal that you're not going to eat not cruel?
 

Rocky998

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You could always try netting fish instead of using hook & line

Might take longer to catch a fish....but with the practice gained within an aquarium when trying to catch that fish that refuses to co-operate....you could be successful in adopting the same method in a river or lake - the only thing to remember is that the river and lake doesn't have corners where you can trap said fish like you can in an aquarium...and you might get pretty wet too if netting in a river or lake and accidently fell in ;)
Well see, using a net isn't that fun. It's the thrill of fighting the fish. You can feel it pulling (especially if it's a big fish).
 

Rocky998

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You don't see it as cruel but you feel bad that it's in pain...how is inflicting unnecessary pain to an innocent animal that you're not going to eat not cruel?
If you look at the lip of a fish it is extremely thin and then there is bone around the lip.
When it's lip is pierced it hurts but it's not excruciating.
And after a while you learn painless ways of removing hooks even if you have barbs
 

CaptainBarnicles

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If you look at the lip of a fish it is extremely thin and then there is bone around the lip.
When it's lip is pierced it hurts but it's not excruciating.
And after a while you learn painless ways of removing hooks even if you have barbs
How do you know its not painful?
 

CaptainBarnicles

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Because you get to know their reactions to different movements and pulls
I personally think being dragged by the mouth through water whilst frantically trying to swim away would be very painful...and the fact that the fish isn't moving or pulling by the end of the chase doesn't mean its not in pain, it's probably exhausted and in shock
 

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