Is fishing unethical?

Rocky998

Gudgeon Man/Fry Lord
Joined
Jun 25, 2021
Messages
10,792
Reaction score
6,298
Location
NC, U.S.A
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
Not when they chase. When im pulling it out. I make sure its as painless as possible. I cant control their pain when they latch on but when I have them in shore or on the dock/pier I make sure its as painless as can be.
 

GaryE

Fish Herder
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
1,960
Reaction score
2,578
Location
Eastern Canada
It's a classic, let's get defensive topic. We're all a mass of contradictions - I'm not a vegetarian but not a hunter, etc.

We are a predatory species, in the end. I would never have said I'd give up fishing when I was 16, and yet, I have.
 

CaptainBarnicles

Resident Pleco Hater
Pet of the Month!
Joined
Apr 2, 2021
Messages
1,664
Reaction score
1,781
Location
Lincs
Killing animals for food is one thing but to hurt or maim an animal for fun in my opinion is senseless and cruel 🤷‍♀️
 

Rocky998

Gudgeon Man/Fry Lord
Joined
Jun 25, 2021
Messages
10,792
Reaction score
6,298
Location
NC, U.S.A
It's a classic, let's get defensive topic. We're all a mass of contradictions - I'm not a vegetarian but not a hunter, etc.

We are a predatory species, in the end. I would never have said I'd give up fishing when I was 16, and yet, I have.
I want to own a nice cabin in the mountains by a river or lake that I can just fish for hours with no one calling my name...
Just vacation out there for a few weeks to get away
 

CaptainBarnicles

Resident Pleco Hater
Pet of the Month!
Joined
Apr 2, 2021
Messages
1,664
Reaction score
1,781
Location
Lincs
Were you responding to my post about the tags?
No...I'm not sure that there is another way to tag fish but again, you're inflicting stress and pain for a reason...not for fun...which is what I have issue with. To me there's no difference between kicking a dog and recreational fishing...
 

Lynnzer

Fish Addict
Joined
Sep 3, 2020
Messages
853
Reaction score
504
Location
sr8
I've fished since I was at junior school. In the early days it was all worms and maggot for brown trout in the River Wear and its tributaries. In those days I actually caught some and generally ate them. It was a good feeling taking my dinner home to brag to mum about. Then I joined the army at age 15 and fished rivers and seas all over the world from Canada to Hong Kong and Belize. Apart from Hong Kong where there are no free running unpolluted waterways I caught a remarkable number of different species. I suppose you can call it sport fishing, and to me it was exactly like that.
Then I gave it all up for 20 years or more and took up sea fishing. From then on I hardly ever caught a thing.. The seas are decimated by French Trawlers up off the northeast coast so apart from the annual mackerel butchering season it's a forlorn task. I hate the mackerel bashers as that is just meaningless slaughter. So I gave up sea fishing and turned again to salmon and trout fishing and bought a damn expensive load of tackle, waders, club membership and went forth. I swear the rivers are as depleted as the sea. I didn't catch a damn thing in 6 months. Maybe it's my style of fishing but somehow I think there's more to it than that. There are otters everywhere. Each stretch of river has its resident cormorant, goosanders and mergansers. I think I'd been happier with a pair of binoculars and a bird identification book.
I've given it all up now and wouldn't decry anyone who takes up sports fishing in the true name of it. It provided many hours of peaceful riverside enjoyment. Let's not spoil something that our kids might just enjoy
 

WhistlingBadger

Professional Cat Herder
Staff member
Global Moderator
Tank of the Month!
Joined
Dec 18, 2011
Messages
4,507
Reaction score
6,887
Location
West of center
When I catch fish, I generally eat them. If I've already caught my limit or if I'm in a situation where it isn't practical to keep them for some other reason, sometimes I'll catch and release just for fun, and to keep my skills sharp for the real thing. If I catch a fish that's too small to eat, I'll let it go.

So, a few thoughts about catch and release from someone who actually does it. All respect to Colin, anybody who uses a dry rag to hold the rish, uses a "huge iron hook," or rips out a chunk of flesh when they remove same, isn't doing it right; either you're committing a bit of a straw-man, or Aussies don't know how to catch and release.

Around here it's a big no-no to catch and release when the water's warm (low O2 content stresses the fish); so is handling a fish with dry hands, not to mention a dry cloth! What kind of moron does that??? 😵‍💫 It is standard procedure to remove the hook with needle nose pliers or forceps to minimize damage, and if you do it right the fish is out of water for several seconds, not several minutes.

I only C&R with artificial flies, which poke a tiny hole in the corner of the mouth and which I strongly suspect the fish forgets about very quickly (though admittedly I've never actually asked them, and I doubt they'd give me an honest answer if I did). If the fish is hooked badly and injured, I whack it on the head and take it home for supper. I think that, among fly fishermen at least, this is pretty much how it's done all over the world.

Why do people catch and release? To keep skills sharp for the real thing, as I said. With most game species, it's the only way to observe them close-up. The colors of a spawning brookie bring me such a sense of wonder and awe that to me it's worth putting the poor guy through some momentary stress. And may the critters forgive me, but catching them is extremely fun.

Is it cruel? Well, the fish don't seem to be having fun, and I generally am. On the other hand, no lasting harm is done if it's done right, and usually even if it's done wrong. That's a fact, backed by lots of scientific research (the Game and Fish Department cares about that sort of thing, and they do the research). Human interactions with animals are fraught with such questions. Is it cruel to eat meat and eggs from industrial "farms"? Go to a rodeo? Keep fish in a little glass box? Domesticate wolves and require one of their offspring to lay here beside my chair with an adorable little bandana around his neck? These are questions we all must ask ourselves, and generally the answers are as nuanced as the person asking and the critter affected. We do the best we can.
 
Last edited:

Most reactions

trending

Staff online

Top