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  1. #41
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Sheffield UK

    Default Re: Apparently fish do feel pain.


    So yes, not only do fish feel pain, but apparently they have emotions and thoughts as well.

    Surely one of the most ridiculous statements I've read in a long time. I presume there is some kind of definitive proof for this statement, some scientific paper perhaps ?, from a reputable source ?.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Apparently fish do feel pain.

    No need to feel bad buddy, I was just browsing through the replies and I remembered what had happened. It was about 3 or 4 years ago I think and I caught it because of my time zone. When it's 9 PM on the East Coast it is 1 AM here, I was up late and decided to check the forum. I logged on and there were at least 15 pages of new posts! All of it was spam, spam of all sorts. Generally we deal with this on a one by one basis and save the IP address of the spammer. In this case I had to just block entire pages of posts and totally remove the content because dealing with each one would take hours and hours. The way it stopped was we closed new registration for a short period.

    It was me who dreamed up the possibility of a connection between the closed thread and the attack. I can't say for sure they were related but the timing was indeed suspect. I do forget if the thread was about fish or guns but things went sideways after a while.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  3. #43
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Central Maryland

    Default Re: Apparently fish do feel pain.

    Quote Originally Posted by lacivic99 View Post
    Let's say fish do not feel pain. Does that mean it's ok to toss a fish onto the bank and let it die?
    Of course not. If I plan on releasing the fish, I want to do the best I can to ensure it survives. If I plan on eating it, I want to taste as good as possible, which means killing it immediately.

  4. #44

    Default Re: Apparently fish do feel pain.

    Quote Originally Posted by rfb700 View Post
    I'm a wee bit confused. The study you cited came to the conclusion that fish didn't experience pain yet the European Goverments who called for it put in legislation based on the fact that they do. Seems a mite contradictory.

    And calling someone who.practices catch and release a hypocrite if they believe fish experience pain seems a bit over the top. Catch and release is to theoretically insure the overall health of the fishery Nothing more or less. Just because you keep and kill a fish doesn't negate the pain it perceived during capture.

    We hunt and cause pain to animals with badly placed shots and slow kills. The end result, death, doesn't erase what led up to it.

    In the real world and not some hypothetical argument we aren't going to stop harvesting animals regardless. The best we can do is recognise the discomfort we cause and try and minimise it.

    Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk
    I am glad you responded as you did. I honestly thank you.

    My strong language was designed to provoke a response. This issue is critical to the future of recreational fishing in our country.

    Yes, the current regulations in Germany contradict the latest research by the Humboldt University of Berlin. The German regulations are contradictory ONLY if the conclusion of the conference was available BEFORE the regulations were in place.

    The Germany had the catch and kill regulations in effect before the Humboldt University of Berlin conference that decided fish do not feel pain. I believe that the Humboldt University of Berlin conference was in response to the German fisheries regulations based on their belief that fish do feel pain.

    It is strong language to say that someone is behaving hypocritically. I take no pleasure in doing that. I did this to illustrate that what a person believes to be true has consequences. You may not like the conclusion or the fact that I stated it, but I believe that my statement is true regardless of how some take it. If you have a logical reason or a philosophical reason why my conclusion is incorrect, please tell me where my error is.

    We are not fishing in a vacuum. Fishing is a privilege and not a right. Those who bestow those rights, regard whether fishing is a moral sport or an immoral sport. In Germany, those in power have decided that the only moral way to fish is to kill the catch for food.

    P--.E-/.T--.A. believes that fish are the equivalent of mammals, and the "Save the "C" K.i.t.t.e.n.s" aims to win the hearts and minds of our children ----> the next generation of adults who will decide that sea kittens are too precious to be tortured by fishing. If fish feel pain as humans and mammals feel pain, P--.E-/ logically right and we are wrong. We are torturing fish by catching them for sport and then releasing them to be caught again.

    Save The "C" K.i.t.t.e.n.s

    This is the P--.E-/.T--.A. Campaign against C&R fishing and a major part of the campaign is the contention that fish feel pain and are "Sea Kittens".

    Fishing |P--.E-/.T--.A.

    "Fish Feel Pain

    When fish are yanked from the water, they begin to suffocate. Their gills often collapse. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh and University of Glasgow studied the pain receptors in fish and found that they were strikingly similar to those of mammals; the researchers concluded that “fish do have the capacity for pain perception and suffering.

    Many trout streams are so intensively fished that they require that all fish caught be released; the fish in these streams may spend their entire lives being repeatedly traumatized and injured.

    What You Can Do

    To combat fishing in your area, post “No Fishing” signs on your land if you have a pond or a lake, join or form an anti-fishing organization, and protest fishing tournaments. Encourage your legislators to enact or enforce wildlife-protection laws.

    Before you support a “wildlife” or “conservation” group, ask about its position on fishing. Groups such as the National Wildlife Federation, the National Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, the Izaak Walton League, the Wilderness Society, the World Wildlife Fund, and many others either support or do not oppose sport fishing."

    What you believe and are willing and able to defend is critical. This is not a good or evil question, but it reminds me of a quotation attributed to Edmond Burke, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." I believe the only thing necessary for recreational fishing to disappear is for recreational fishers to do nothing to defend their sport. We must be unable to defend our sport in a logical, scientific, and on a moral basis.

    So I ask again, what logical argument do you have to counter P--.E-/.T--.A.’s position that recreational fishing and especially C&R fishing is unethical because fish feel pain just like we do?

    My position is that P--.E-/.T--.A. is wrong because fish do not feel pain. My behavior is morally consistent with my belief structure.

    What is your response to P--.E-/.T--.A. ?
    Last edited by silver creek; 10-31-2018 at 10:54 PM.


    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Southeastern Ontario, Canada (armpit of the trout fishing universe)

    Default Re: Apparently fish do feel pain.

    I’m not sure what an animal rights group’s stance on fishing has to do with whether or not they feel pain but I’ll try and play along.

    As regards Germany, it’s not quite as simple as they banned catch and release and that’s all she wrote.

    C&R is not forbidden according to statespecific fisheries legislation. All 16 states have fisheries legislation dating between 1985 and 2005 prescribing protected species, sizes and seasons. Thus, releasing undersized or protected fish or fish caught during protected seasons is required according to all fisheries laws to comply with the need for ecological sustainability and to conserve healthy fish communities. With the exception of the state of Bavaria, there is no formal statement in fisheries legislation that prohibits the release of fish that can be legally harvested. In Bavaria, releasing of unprotected fish is prohibited unless C&R is in agreement with the APA(Animal Protection Agency) and the duty of maintaining healthy and diverse fish communities as stipulated in the Bavarian fisheries law. This statement is a repetition of the formal framework of rules already set by the APA and state-specific fisheries legislation,and thus should be implicitly guiding other German states as well.

    So not quite the total ban it seems.

    As I’ve said before, the scientific papers I’ve seen tend to support the idea that fish do indeed experience pain. There are of course dissenting opinions on the subject, but right now majority opinion seems to be trending that they do. And whether or not an animal rights group is going to use that is not germaine to the argument.

    As to whether or not we are hypocrites if we still fish with the knowledge that we may be causing pain to an animal I’d say no. Actually my real answer would be that I don’t care. I have no desire to wade into the hunting and fishing ethical debate as I’m sure we could go on for pages with points for and against.

    I care about animals at a species specific level. Is the fishing I’m doing causing injury to the fishery? Am I contributing by my actions to endangering populations of fish? If the answer to those questions is no, I will fish and try and treat each individual with the respect I believe it deserves and try to do as little harm as possible.

    In that context I believe C & R is ethical. But as previously stated, it does bother me a bit when I badly hook or kill one and I may just quit one day. But that’s a personal choice and doesn’t change my overall opinion on fishing. If that makes me a hypocrite so be it.

    And I wouldn’t worry too much about animal welfare groups ending fishing in North America. It’s a multi million dollar business and unless it becomes unprofitable, it will continue. Money talks. I’d worry more about big business destroying the environment to the point where most fisheries collapse.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Albuquerque, NM

    Default Re: Apparently fish do feel pain.

    Excellent post, Silver, in your usual logical, well-developed manner.

    Not addressing your post, Silver, but I'll add two things, and they're linked.

    First, why do we study whether fish feel pain? Is it of any consequence, to anyone but a few grant-seeking biologists? I understand that it probably constitutes basic research, and I am all for that. But how many studies are necessary on whether fish feel pain? We're way beyond first principles at this point.

    Second, I don't care if fish feel pain or not; I am going to fish, anyway. It has never been a concern to me if fish feel pain. I don't like to injure fish, and I handle them in what the guilt-toting fishermen would say is ethical manner. I never consulted any studies on pain before I began to fish, just like I never consulted a doctor before beginning this or any other exercise program. They're fish, and I fish because it's fun.

    The link between the two points above is this: We live in a society whose basic needs were taken care of so long ago that we can find the time and energy to personify other species, and in the luxury of our guilt elevate their status above our own, spending time and money researching and deifying them. Again, they're fish. The personification of these sub-human species is a recent human construct. As little as one generation ago, these "concerns" about animals would have been considered laughable. The founders of the People for the Eating of Tasty Animals understood their position in the world.

    We think of ourselves as "enlightened," when what we truly are is running low on things to be really concerned about, so we invent some canard to substitute for real concerns. If it were suddenly proven that fish do feel pain, it would have no effect on my fishing, and I suspect that is the case for nearly everyone on this board. I don't have to have nuance to justify my fishing, to skirt around cognitive dissonance, justifying my recreational pursuits even though it clearly conflicts with my virtuous ethics. Nuance is simply a way of rationalizing inconsistent behavior and beliefs, so that one can still do the things they want to do in spite of their professed principles.

    I'm not trying to be a jerk here, just being honest with myself and you guys here on the board. At bottom, I know that if it is ever proven that fish do feel pain, I am not going to stop fishing. It won't change a thing for me. And thus that means that I don't care if fish feel pain.

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  8. #47

    Default Re: Apparently fish do feel pain.

    Are congratulations due to the scientist whom after possible hundreds of sadistic tests figured out what causes fish pain. Should I be thankful for now knowing NOT to dip my flies in acetic acid prior to fishing or relieved for never hooking one directly behind the gills? Also learned I need to run a copper wire down my fly line to deliver a killing high voltage shock to the fish if I plan to keep for dinner. Will let everyone know when I figure out the details.

    I was going fly fishing until my wife suggested it, now I can't tell who is outsmarting who!

    Being "one with nature" requires a knowledge of what animals are living nearby and a weapon of sufficient magnitude to give you at minimum an equal chance of survival. No one has an invisible aura that animals can detect and sense your good intentions.

  9. #48
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Montrose, CO.
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Apparently fish do feel pain.

    From a scientific point of view I am with Silver 100%. Animal rights groups prey upon humans using anthropomorphism. The ads make me laugh. I suggest that these people quit eating as studies have shown plants respond differently to different types of external stimuli. The jump to "emotional distress" or "pain and suffering" can then be made. (Heartless vegetarians)

    Whether or not "pain" is involved has no moral bearing on my outdoor pursuits. I am a predator (Don't deny me my right to identify) I kill animals, I eat animals and I may play with my prey. That's what predators do. The one thing that separates me from other predators is that brief moment of despondency when I look down upon my prey. It's not sympathy as do not feel sorry for what an animal is. It's not empathy as the animal has no feelings to share. It's that subsequent realization of mortality and the intrusion of death upon my world of admiration. This thought and emotional processes are what separates me from from all other animals; no other predator thinks back and contemplates their actions. This human condition affords me different paths. I can use, consume, and/or protect ALL life. As such, I am not morally or ethically bound to any one action.

    IMO, no animal is my equal so they are not entitled to human considerations. Does this philosophy grant me license to indiscriminately kill animals, use/discard them without consideration, and reduce my responsibility of stewardship? No, no, and no. I have an ethical and moral obligation to generations that come after me to ensure that animals are there for those generations; so they too can choose from those aforementioned paths. I have no such obligations to the animals themselves.

    If the act of being a predator is disturbing, don't participate. It's a moral decision. If the act is not disturbing, and one participates, that too is a moral decision.
    Nice fish! Do you have anymore pictures of it lying in the dirt?
    As publicity increases so does the propensity of tripping over yards of mono attached to a Dipsey sinker.

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  11. #49

    Default Re: Apparently fish do feel pain.

    Why the article was written and why research is active is very much a relevant topic. Where do you think funding for research comes from? Advocates for the various animal right groups, that shall remain nameless. Researchers at well known universities are conducting these studies. And who knows what is said behind closed doors and the true agenda.

    I don't want to put words in Silver's mouth...but what I see is that to argue the point that fish feel pain isn't necessarily futile (it's an interesting philosophical question).......but to even suggest, prove somehow or interject doubt that fish do feel pain (in any way, shape or form) does no more than strengthen the single viewpoint of these groups. And that is, that fishing of any form is wrong, cruel, torture, and should be abolished. From the animal rights viewpoint, for any of us to even suggest that fish might feel pain, yet continuing to partake in the activity is simply hypocrisy and only strengthens their side of the argument, which is to abolish it.

    So I'm with don't feel pain...... period. (***wink, wink, nudge nudge**)

    I asked my wife her thoughts on the subject. "I don't get it. Fishing is a huge waste of time!" was her comment. I laughed.

    Last edited by flytie09; 11-01-2018 at 01:19 PM.

    “If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago.”
    ~Zane Grey

    " . . . shouldn't a man stand on his own two feet and catch his own steelhead? Maybe put out some effort and find his own fish just for the fun of it?"
    ~Syd Glasso

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  13. #50
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Lincolnshire, Illinois

    Default Re: Apparently fish do feel pain.

    I don't rely on any outside group to tell me if fish feel pain. When I set a hook in a fish, the fish goes batshit crazy and tries to get away. That is proof enough, for me, that it feels pain. Not discomfort, pain. It's not the same as moving to a cooler part of the stream.

    That said, I still fish. I also eat meat, and from animals that I believe everybody can agree feel pain - mammals, birds, for example. So there is some karmic cost from that that I need to own up to. My hope is that the animal feels pain for as briefly as possible.

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