Without much ado, yes, fish feel pain because they are created with nerves like other animals. Trapped fishes become anxious and suffer from physical pain, breathing also become difficult. Anytime fishes are being hauled out of their aquatic habitat to terrestrial environment, they start to suffocate which mostly leads to the collapse of their gills.
It is a known fact in commercial fishing that the swim bladder of fishes becomes rapture due to the sudden change in pressure. There is scientific evidence that proves that fish are highly intelligent, have great memories, and are socially sophisticated. Also, fish have the ability to utilize tools and relate with each other with the usage of squeaks, squeals, and sign language.
Why Catch-And-Release Fishing Is Bad
The act of Catch-and-release fishing is cruelty camouflaged as a sport. It has been proven over the years that fishes who are captured and being released back to the aquatic habitat undergo serious physiological strain which mostly leads to their death as a result of shock.
Most time, fish ingest hooks that are being used to catch them. However, it is a common practice that anglers attempt to remove the hook by thrusting their fingers or pliers down the fish’s oesophagus. This might have negative effect on the fish as not only will the hook be ripped out but some the fish’s throat and guts as well. Whenever fishes are being held with bare hands, they tend to lose the protective coat on their bodies. All of these and other injuries contribute towards their susceptibility to predation when they are released to the water.
Fishing Gear Hurts Wildlife
Any type of fishing gears that are being used under angling, catch-and-release among other methods are known to hurt fishes and some animals. On a yearly basis, there are trails of tackle victims left behind by anglers which include a large population of avian, turtles, cats, and many other animals. These animals unknowingly ingest fishhooks or become entangled with a line that leads to serious injuries. It has however been established by wildlife rehabilitators that aquatic animal’s major threat is as a result of discarded fishing tackles.
Fishing As A Sport
One of the major criticism of fishing is fishing for sport. The act has been portrayed as enjoyment or pleasure to sportsmen and also referred to as tortuous. However, if you are fishing for sport, you must ensure you include a significant deal of caution and respect. There are some taxes that are being applied only to the buying of licenses for fishing and some other gears. These taxes are applicable to sportsmen in fishing as well and are being used for the protection of many wildlife reserves.
It has been argued in the past that fishermen can appeal for the cancellation of these taxes but the fact is, the fishermen install those taxes. In fact, the taxes extends to those that fish for sport in as much they have regards for protecting and benefiting their surrounded natural environment.
While large number of fishing tournaments have enacted a catch and release law, some fishermen still simply catch the fish. My question is, are those fish consumed or wasted?
It has been deduced that a proper sportsman with high level of understanding and respect for wildlife would agree to the consumption of fish. Many are with the ideology that fishes caught during competition can be converted to some kind of delicious meals.
Conversely, some fishermen are with the orientation of just taking pictures of their prized catch and throw them in the waste bin. These acts have been a nightmare to the conservationist and steps have been taken to increase the policy of catch and release in all fishing tournaments.
Fish Deserve Dignity Too
In as much fishing has both the recreational and practical sides, it will be highly significant if fish can be treated with dignity and respect. Being a living thing, they should be treated in a fair manner.
In some part of the world, cultures or hunter have put in place a ritual anytime they intend to slaughter any animal. Some individuals say prayer to creator of these animals to appreciate them for the provision of food. Others directly appreciate the animals and try to slaughter the animals in such a humanly manner.
Fish should also earn similar respect and dignity in the same way. If you are practicing catch and release, you must be extremely careful and ensure that fishes are being returned to the water body in the exact condition that it came from it.
If you however plans on keeping your catch, you need to put into consideration that fish does not suffer while you continue with your fishing. It is generally known that fish cannot breathe outside water and should therefore be well handled to make sure they do not suffer before they die.
While large population of fauna are seen all over the world and have been considered as more primitive than humans. It is highly significant that we still have thoughtfulness for these animals and provide them with the same kind of dignity we would desire for ourselves. However, fish deserve some regards too.
What You Can Do To Help Fish
From the conservationist point of view, you can derive joy from other form of nature activities (hiking, camping, and canoeing) that will not have negative impacts on wildlife. People needs to be sensitized that fishing including catch-and-release do have severe effects on wildlife
Questions And Answers That May Clear Your Doubt
1. What Is The Meaning Of Catch And Release?
If you find yourself fishing in a “catch and release only” marked area, it is expected of you to remove hook from any species of fish caught and release it back into the water body you originally captured it. You need to be extra careful while removing the hook from the fish to increase its chances of survival.
2. Do Fish Survive Catch And Release?
The chances of survival of fish being caught and later released is slim. However, fish that are carefully and correctly caught and released have 90% upward survival rate. To achieve this statistic, it is dependent on the fisherman’s experience and care. If you are inexperience and you impatiently remove hook, it can damage the fish further. This will definitely lower their survival rate.
3. Do I Need A Fishing License To Just Catch And Release?
You will definitely require a license to fish in catch and release marked area. If you will be casting a line in the water body, it is expected of you to own a license for fishing that is peculiar to the region you are in. Thus, some states have age regulations that allow individuals below or above a specific age to fish with no license.
4. Do Fish Heal After Being Hooked?
If you are a responsible catch-and-release fisherman, you should be aware that removal of hook from the fish mouth are done with care. However, it happens that an angler unknowingly cause damage to the fish while attempting to remove the hook. This action leads to a general question that many novice anglers ask. Can a fish’s mouth heal?
5. Does A Fish’s Mouth Heal After Being Hooked?
Back to our basic biology, fishes that are being categorized as bony fish are known to be the majority and have the capability to heal from injuries. Any form of injuries caused to fish as a result of hook will heal with time.