Is Fishing Cruel

People for the ethical treatment of animals(PETA) are an organization championing animal rights, caused a stir online by publishing an article about catch and release fishing being cruel to animals. This has then brought up questions on whether fishing is cruel. Are you thinking of going fishing, and you are wondering if it is humane? In this article, we look at possible answers to this question to find if fishing is cruel. Please stick with us.

Fishing can be cruel and not cruel at the same time, based on your point of view and which side of the divide you are on.

Many types of fishing methods vary in their effects on fish. You can just be thinking of doing catch and release or engaging in large-scale commercial fishing. 

Since animal cruelty is a bit sensitive, we will not give you a  direct answer to the question. We will put together facts and information for and against the topic of cruelty to fish and let you pick aside. After reading this information, you should easily judge whether fishing is cruel or not. Everyone has their definition of cruelty, and drawing a clear line might be difficult. That is why we leave that decision to you. 

Argument For Fishing

Argument For Fishing

1. Fishing As A Culture.

Fishing has been done from time immemorial. We were born and found fishing going on, so leaving it can be difficult. Some cultures like native America are known for their culture of fishing. Fishing has been part of human life and several cultures and the whole world at large.

2. Fishing In The Bible

If you are a Christian, then you know that the Bible is in favor of fishing. We see Jesus telling His disciples to cast a net to catch fish. The story of the boy with five loaves of bread and two fish signifies that fishing was an activity that took place in the Bible, so you need not worry about that. It is biblically approved.

3. Economic Benefits

Fishing is used as a source of income. Large-scale fishermen sell their fish and make a life out of the money that they make. Some fishermen sell their fish locally, while some export theirs to other countries, making a huge profit. This money feeds their families, educates their children, and more. In turn, the economy of the area and the country at large experience growth. 

4. Source Of Food

Fish is a source of food for many cultures around the world. It can be eaten with most meals, and people view it as a great delicacy. It is a source of omega-3, and people benefit from eating it. Cod liver oil can be used to help in some healthy growth in children.

5. Wildlife Conservation

For you to engage in fishing, you have to have a fishing license. When you pay for a license, your money is used for the good of the environment. Some of the money is used in research, finding out the number and type of fish. This way, the government can give the correct guidance, which one can be fished and which one cannot. 

This money is also used in breeding fish species with a low number. This way, conservation is carried out, ensuring that the correct number of fish is maintained.

Argument Against Fishing

Argument Against Fishing

1. Torture

Fish is tortured when being caught in that when it is out of the water, and it suffocates since it cannot breathe the normal way fishes breathe. 

Some big fish like tuna are clubbed to death to ensure they do not escape. This is especially done by large-scale fishing. This clubbing causes painful death to the fish. 

2. Fish Feel Pain

Whether or not fish feel pain has been a scientific study for some time. After a long time of research, scientists have come up with the conclusion that fish feel pain. This was concluded after several experiments.

 The PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) community says that since fish have c-nociceptors, they can feel pain. They can feel the pain of the hooks piercing through their mouth, being hit on a rock, and such kind of treatment.

3. Permanent Damage

Catching and releasing leaves permanent damage to fish that have been caught. First, when a fish is caught using a hook, its scaling is removed, and the immune system becomes weak. This makes the fish more prone to diseases. 

Some fish may be stubborn, causing the hook to make another hole when you want to remove it and put the fish back into the water. Some people also leave hooks on the fish. Suppose you catch a fish that had a hook left on it. And your hook also gets stuck; you will leave your hook on the mouth of the fish. You can imagine the emotional and physical pain that this particular fish goes through for its whole life in the name of catch and release. 

Some fishing styles like spearfishing also leave damage in that if you aim at a fish, but the spear does not hit it strong enough, and the fish manages to escape, it will go with permanent damage, and healing may be difficult. Some may end up dying from that pain. 

Fish have swim bladders that are filled with gas to help them maintain their buoyancy. These swim bladders are sensitive to pressure and may rapture due to the intense pressure from water into another atmosphere with different air pressure. 

All these factors that cause damage permanently may cause death in the fish that are caught and released back into the water.

Other Activities Apart From Fishing.

If you wanted to go fishing as a sport and rethink it, you could consider other outdoor sports. These activities are just a few examples that can get your mind out of the real world. They can help you focus on something else. 

1. Birding

You can go birdwatching if you love nature. This is a great way of experiencing nature, learning the type of birds, and even taking photos of those that catch your eyes.

2. Biking

You can go biking with friends. You can also teach your kids, allowing them to enjoy the surroundings and let their minds off books for a while.

3. Camping

Why not go camping for three days and forget about real life for a while. It’s fun having a campfire and bonding with family and friends.

4. Hiking

If you love adventure, then this is a good idea for you. Go beyond your limits and achieve something you are proud of.


From the above discussion, the ball is in your court to decide if it is cruelty or not. If you decide to go sport fishing, there are ways you can reduce the amount of stress that you put fish you catch through. For instance, using a high-quality hook and not a treble.

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