coastalfreak

Questioning The Ethically of Fishing

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I mean, if I thought fish felt pain like mammals, I'd be vehemently against the sport, and I'm self aware enough to know I have an interest in feeding my confirmation bias on the topic. Old school guys used live nice for muskies and largemouth, I'm 100% out on that.

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8 hours ago, Dieseldog13 said:

The last time I met with my Primary Care doctor, she asked what I was doing for exercise. I told her several things and mentioned kayak fishing. She said that she felt sorry for the fish having to get the hook stuck in them. I mentioned that I did not think they felt much pain having a hook in their lips to which she said that they do feel the pain. I moved on to another subject.

I’ve watched Ocearch drill holes in Great White Shark fins and the fish doesn’t flinch.  Whatever they feel it’s not the same as mammals feel.  That I’m certain.  I’ll bet your doctor went home and had a nice chicken sandwich that evening.  LoL 

Edited by Birdsnester

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Good topic for discussion. Couple other thoughts here though, to ease your conscience. Who is it that cares enough about the deer, the turkeys, the  stripers, the bluegills, to make sure they continue to be there for the next generation? It’s the sportsmen who enjoy the chase, the hunt, the catch. We put many dollars into the effort for conservation of multiple species, including those we can’t catch, like eagles, ospreys, plovers (sorry guys!). There was a law passed in the 1930s that requires the manufacturers of ammo, rifles, fishing equip, etc to pay a 12% federal excise tax which then goes back to the states where it is used to protect wildlife, buy land (habitat) for conservation, reintroduce species that have been extirpated from the state. Plus, who is most likely to call the wildlife cops when we see some asshat taking shorts, exceeding the limit, catching fish outta season, and so on? It’s the people who love the sport and the wildlife. If we all stopped fishing and hunting because we thought it unethical, who would be left to make sure the environment and fish/animals were not exploited, the environment not polluted, and development not constrained to allow the species to remain? Teddy Roosevelt was perhaps the greatest American outdoor sportsman. He started the National Parks system. Boo yah for Teddy! As others have said, if you question the ethicality of the catch, push down your barbs, or use artificials, if a fish is hooked deep just cut the line. If you hunt, make sure you use the meat, pelt, or whatever you harvest from the animal. If no sportsmen remain, it would not be long before many species are driven into extinction. Because no one else really gives a crap. IMHO. 

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On 6/28/2020 at 4:32 PM, coastalfreak said:

Hey y’all, hope all of you are well during this pandemic. 
 

Fishing is something that has been part of my life for a long, long time. I gotta say though, the more I do it, the more I question the ethicality of it. When you get down to it, you are piercing a metal hook through a fishes jaw/lip and then holding them out

of the water where they can’t breathe. I read an article in Field and Stream where the author said to hold your breath when you have a fish outta water. That gives you a good idea of what the fish is feeling. That didn’t make me feel too good.

 

Today I was out fishing in a creek and I gut hooked a bluegill. Tried to get the hook out but he went belly up on me and few minutes after release. I know, not trying to be a softie but it made me feel bad.

 

Also, I recently went bass fishing and the bass got hooked right in the corner of the mouth. Great hookset, but the hook was really stuck and I was an idiot and forgot my pliers in the car. Probably spent a minute or two getting that hook out, and the fish seam off but pretty slow.

 

Needless to say, I’ve been questioning the sport as well as my personal skills with handling fish and such.
 

Does anybody else ever feel this way? Or am I alone and turning into a PETA person? 
 

Thanks,

Kevin

I didn’t read this thread, but I can relate as every year the same internal conflict grows larger. Fishing has been a huge part of my life, it’s definitely saved it that’s for sure, but there is no worse feeling than having a small fish inhale a plug and die just for you own enjoyment. And that’s not even taking into account other variables the OP mentioned like hooking a fish, making it fight for it’s life and gasp for air... again, for your own enjoyment. 
 

Each season I get closer to walking away from the sport. It’ll probably happen sooner rather than later. 
 

But then it all goes out the window when you stick a beautiful, drag-pulling 30# fish on a pikie, standing alone on a rock in the middle of the night, under a star lit sky...

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10 hours ago, Good2Go said:

Good topic for discussion. Couple other thoughts here though, to ease your conscience. Who is it that cares enough about the deer, the turkeys, the  stripers, the bluegills, to make sure they continue to be there for the next generation? It’s the sportsmen who enjoy the chase, the hunt, the catch. We put many dollars into the effort for conservation of multiple species, including those we can’t catch, like eagles, ospreys, plovers (sorry guys!). There was a law passed in the 1930s that requires the manufacturers of ammo, rifles, fishing equip, etc to pay a 12% federal excise tax which then goes back to the states where it is used to protect wildlife, buy land (habitat) for conservation, reintroduce species that have been extirpated from the state. Plus, who is most likely to call the wildlife cops when we see some asshat taking shorts, exceeding the limit, catching fish outta season, and so on? It’s the people who love the sport and the wildlife. If we all stopped fishing and hunting because we thought it unethical, who would be left to make sure the environment and fish/animals were not exploited, the environment not polluted, and development not constrained to allow the species to remain? Teddy Roosevelt was perhaps the greatest American outdoor sportsman. He started the National Parks system. Boo yah for Teddy! As others have said, if you question the ethicality of the catch, push down your barbs, or use artificials, if a fish is hooked deep just cut the line. If you hunt, make sure you use the meat, pelt, or whatever you harvest from the animal. If no sportsmen remain, it would not be long before many species are driven into extinction. Because no one else really gives a crap. IMHO. 

I guess our conservation does not mean much to that one deer or fish that we are killing.  All creatures only have one life to live and we are taking it from them.  This reminds me of the movie Logan’s run.  When the person reached the age of 21 they were killed.  They did not want to be killed, it’s kind of the same thing

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Ironically, this thought process has actually led me to try and keep and eat more fish. I had always though C&R fishing was sporting and I rarely kept fish. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it’s just harassing fish for entertainment and not for food. I’ve removed trebles and use circle hooks just to limit the damage to a fish that I may not be able to legally keep. 

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19 mins ago, Birdsnester said:

I guess our conservation does not mean much to that one deer or fish that we are killing.  All creatures only have one life to live and we are taking it from them.  This reminds me of the movie Logan’s run.  When the person reached the age of 21 they were killed.  They did not want to be killed, it’s kind of the same thing

All animals have some means of control. With deer, we’ve extirpated panthers and wolves in the east, and hunting becomes less and less a popular sport. So we have deer overpopulation, more auto accidents, more diseases, more overbrowsing like on Bluff Point State Park. Then, the town needs to hire professional hunters at taxpayer expense to go in and cull the herd. Where’s the sense in that? With seals, they’re now populating and polluting beaches all over the Cape. And now we have more great whites in the waters around the Cape. They sometimes take a human “by mistake”. System is out of balance.  So you can eat your hamburgers and hot dogs on the 4th,  made from animals that someone else has killed, or you can accept that for one animal to live, another animal (or plant if you’re vegan) must die. And if you practice C+R, the pain a striper might experience is simply a payment for conservation and preservation on a planet become more and more populated with people. I suspect there is more pain they have in their natural environment, than being caught and released, which common sense dictates is gonna be less painful than having your flesh stripped off your bones by a grey seal, while you’re still alive! Bottom line, if you have a problem with the sport, don’t do it. 

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1 hour ago, Good2Go said:

All animals have some means of control. With deer, we’ve extirpated panthers and wolves in the east, and hunting becomes less and less a popular sport. So we have deer overpopulation, more auto accidents, more diseases, more overbrowsing like on Bluff Point State Park. Then, the town needs to hire professional hunters at taxpayer expense to go in and cull the herd. Where’s the sense in that? With seals, they’re now populating and polluting beaches all over the Cape. And now we have more great whites in the waters around the Cape. They sometimes take a human “by mistake”. System is out of balance.  So you can eat your hamburgers and hot dogs on the 4th,  made from animals that someone else has killed, or you can accept that for one animal to live, another animal (or plant if you’re vegan) must die. And if you practice C+R, the pain a striper might experience is simply a payment for conservation and preservation on a planet become more and more populated with people. I suspect there is more pain they have in their natural environment, than being caught and released, which common sense dictates is gonna be less painful than having your flesh stripped off your bones by a grey seal, while you’re still alive! Bottom line, if you have a problem with the sport, don’t do it. 

I do understand your point.  And it’s well stated.  The deer population in some areas have been reduced by introducing a drug that makes them not fertile.  So there are other ways but that’s cost prohibitive I suppose.  Nature is brutal, there is no getting around that.  And I am as big a hypocrite as anyone.  I eat chicken and fish.  I still feel bad for the life lost.  I can’t seem to help that.  I do kill fish, try to make is quick but I do it from time to time.  It never feels good but I do it any way.  I often think that although there are millions of fish in the sea, and my small harvest is relatively meaningless in the grand scheme of things, it’s meaningful to that fish.  Same for the chicken, cow or pig.  Unfortunately the chicken, cow and pig most likely have lived a terrible life to that point.  Sad really.

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I apologize for I have not read every post in this thread ....

1. I’m a Pisces, hence my astrological sign means I am a fish ...

I believe it since I never get sea sick, even on Coxes Ledge in Feb back in 70s when fifties were common....

I’ve had too many fish tanks to count that I stared at every night .....

2. I’m catholic, hence my man JC and a few of his buds/apostles are/were fishermen...

3. Born and raised on Long Island NY ........ can only dream of how good the native Americans fished, respected, prayed to how amazing our waters were back than ....

4. See the common denominator here, fish is a nutritious food source...

so are apples, and a massive amount of other plants and veggies.....

5. I don’t fish like I once did, I’m 60 and less mobile ...

Being on Long Island it is always about stripped bass, weakfish etc ... Hence every barb is crushed and every treble  is discarded....

6. Like my forefathers and others, I fish to learn about the species, respect every living being, keep only what I can eat with my family that day....

7. You’re fishing, chill out and enjoy Mother Earth and you’ll learn to weed out the misinformed ... >}}}}> ****

8. Almost forgot how priceless this all is to share with my children and grandchildren!!!!

Edited by theshark516

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Totally relate. Fishing is not an ethical sport. There is no question about it. 

Its how much of that can you tolerate, and what you can do to mitigate harm that is the more important part. 

For me, I've been replacing trebles and crushing barbs. Reporting poaching when I can. Avoiding live bait. Supporting scientist backed regulations for fish. Selective harvest. Calling out other anglers respectfully when I see them mishandle fish.

 

I think the last one has been something that can be hard to do sometime but it can leave a big impact if done respectfully. I remember last year, I taught someone not to pull hooks out if swallowed and to cut the line instead. If he continues that practice, that could've been a lot of fish saved over a lifetime. Same with reviving fish, etc. All that adds up. At some point, I hope the good I can do for fish will outweigh the harm I've caused. 

Edited by kayaknshore

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On 6/28/2020 at 7:25 PM, coastalfreak said:

Thanks all. I’ve decided to keep fishing, as long as I’m not an idiot about it. 
 

Will definetly get around to using circle hooks and barbless hooks more often. I love this sport, I’m not leaving without a fight. 

 

There are more better reasons to keep fishing then reasons why you should quit fishing.

 

Keep at it, enjoy the fishing Louisiana has to offer, posts pics. Also, did you decide upon a baitcasting outfit to use for fishing?

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21 mins ago, theshark516 said:

I apologize for I have not read every post in this thread ....

1. I’m a Pisces, hence my astrological sign means I am a fish ...

I believe it since I never get sea sick, even on Coxes Ledge in Feb back in 70s when fifties were common....

I’ve had too many fish tanks to count that I stared at every night .....

2. I’m catholic, hence my man JC and a few of his buds/apostles are/were fishermen...

3. Born and raised on Long Island NY ........ can only dream of how good the native Americans fished, respected, prayed to how amazing our waters were back than ....

4. See the common denominator here, fish is a nutritious food source...

so are apples, and a massive amount of other plants and veggies.....

5. I don’t fish like I once did, I’m 60 and less mobile ...

Being on Long Island it is always about stripped bass, weakfish etc ... Hence every barb is crushed and every treble  is discarded....

6. Like my forefathers and others, I fish to learn about the species, respect every living being, keep only what I can eat with my family that day....

7. You’re fishing, chill out and enjoy Mother Earth and you’ll learn to weed out the misinformed ... >}}}}> ****

8. Almost forgot how priceless this all is to share with my children and grandchildren!!!!

 

Soooooo, if I hold your head under water for an hour will you survive?:D

 

 

 

Yes, I am a big proponent of select harvest as well. And I can attest to the fact that children never forget fishing and the time you spent taking them fishing. They will continue to do what you taught them to enjoy.:)

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11 hours ago, Good2Go said:

All animals have some means of control. With deer, we’ve extirpated panthers and wolves in the east, and hunting becomes less and less a popular sport. So we have deer overpopulation, more auto accidents, more diseases, more overbrowsing like on Bluff Point State Park. Then, the town needs to hire professional hunters at taxpayer expense to go in and cull the herd. Where’s the sense in that? With seals, they’re now populating and polluting beaches all over the Cape. And now we have more great whites in the waters around the Cape. They sometimes take a human “by mistake”. System is out of balance.  So you can eat your hamburgers and hot dogs on the 4th,  made from animals that someone else has killed, or you can accept that for one animal to live, another animal (or plant if you’re vegan) must die. And if you practice C+R, the pain a striper might experience is simply a payment for conservation and preservation on a planet become more and more populated with people. I suspect there is more pain they have in their natural environment, than being caught and released, which common sense dictates is gonna be less painful than having your flesh stripped off your bones by a grey seal, while you’re still alive! Bottom line, if you have a problem with the sport, don’t do it. 

 

Good post, good points.

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On 6/29/2020 at 8:14 AM, MitchellNJ said:

Crab Lives Matter

 

We smash those poor bastards like there's no tomorrow.  I actually feel bad for them sometimes.

 

20200516_183830.jpg.56fd1d084193c81f8cb60a011b9f6f39.jpg

 

20200523_182607.jpg.aa5b9e47f95a7715432946f40a7596c1.jpg

 

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