Fish

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henchy3rd

Full Member
Apr 16, 2012
391
251
Derby
A bit of a bizarre one here.
Three years ago I decided to start fishing off the back of my boat.
One of the first fish I hooked was a massive pike.(it really was that big).
I’ve been led to believe that fish are incapable of feeling pain because their brains aren’t complex enough for what ever reason?
If that’s the case, then why did this pike make small squealing noises when I had to use some pliers/forceps to remove the embedded hook from deep down?
just to add, it must of been out of the water for five or six minutes.
I felt rotten & never fished since that day as it slowly slinked off Into the water.
 

TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
7,178
1,330
47
Exeter
A bit of a bizarre one here.
Three years ago I decided to start fishing off the back of my boat.
One of the first fish I hooked was a massive pike.(it really was that big).
I’ve been led to believe that fish are incapable of feeling pain because their brains aren’t complex enough for what ever reason?
If that’s the case, then why did this pike make small squealing noises when I had to use some pliers/forceps to remove the embedded hook from deep down?
just to add, it must of been out of the water for five or six minutes.
I felt rotten & never fished since that day as it slowly slinked off Into the water.


I'm going to guess the first belief was incorrect.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,850
1,062
64
Florida
I suspect several things any or all of which may be incorrect:
a) I doubt fish “feel pain” in quite the same sense we do. Not because of the brain itself but rather I imagine their entire nervous system is different. And
b) Even if the first is true, I doubt they are completely without feeling.
c) I likewise suspect that every species of fish has some variance in their nervous system from other species.
 

punkrockcaveman

Full Member
Jan 28, 2017
820
634
yorks
I've caught plenty of pike and never heard them squeal lol. Trust me pike don't make sounds on purpose. Probably some trapped air making a squeaky sound. Now that does happen, there are certain catfish that are known for it.
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,758
4,033
Mid Wales
I was under the impression that recent studies showed that fish do have a 'pain' response. Also, the survival rate of catch and release is much lower than once thought; presumably due to the stress. Consequently, as in my shooting, I only fish to eat and don't fish catch and release. In the past, that has meant me paying for a half day fly fishing, caught my landing limit within a half hour, and gone home :)
 
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punkrockcaveman

Full Member
Jan 28, 2017
820
634
yorks
I was under the impression that recent studies showed that fish do have a 'pain' response. Also, the survival rate of catch and release is much lower than once thought; presumably due to the stress. Consequently, as in my shooting, I only fish to eat and don't fish catch and release. In the past, that has meant me paying for a half day fly fishing, caught my landing limit within a half hour, and gone home :)
I'm with you on that Broch. I was brought up pleasure fishing but now fish for the pot only.
 

henchy3rd

Full Member
Apr 16, 2012
391
251
Derby
I've caught plenty of pike and never heard them squeal lol. Trust me pike don't make sounds on purpose. Probably some trapped air making a squeaky sound. Now that does happen, there are certain catfish that are known for it.
I've caught plenty of pike and never heard them squeal lol. Trust me pike don't make sounds on purpose. Probably some trapped air making a squeaky sound. Now that does happen, there are certain catfish that are known for it.
I was under the impression that recent studies showed that fish do have a 'pain' response. Also, the survival rate of catch and release is much lower than once thought; presumably due to the stress. Consequently, as in my shooting, I only fish to eat and don't fish catch and release. In the past, that has meant me paying for a half day fly fishing, caught my landing limit within a half hour, and gone home :)
I’ve just read up on published papers from the Max Planck institute/Harvard & Cambridge university’s & a PETA scientist.
Some say yes, some say no & some say maybe because they have different receptors to mammals?
If it was proven to be true, it would be classed as animal cruelty & the implications would surly be massive?
I’d never eat a farmed fish that’s for sure.
 

punkrockcaveman

Full Member
Jan 28, 2017
820
634
yorks
I’ve just read up on published papers from the Max Planck institute/Harvard & Cambridge university’s & a PETA scientist.
Some say yes, some say no & some say maybe because they have different receptors to mammals?
If it was proven to be true, it would be classed as animal cruelty & the implications would surly be massive?
I’d never eat a farmed fish that’s for sure.
I think that's probably nail on the head. It seems to make sense they would feel pain, but if they do, you can imagine a lot of folk would want to cover it up. I don't know if they do feel pain, the jury is out for me. Just seems illogical to catch without planning on taking them for the pot.

Out of interest, do you eat farmed meat?
 

Tengu

Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
11,356
756
48
Wiltshire
Fishing is a huge hobby (probably one of the most popular in the UK) and they are responsible for a lot of environmental good. (I know a farmer who lives in a relatively water free area; he dug a fishpond, which has increased biodiversity )

Imagine how much that would change if they decided they were harming the fish?
 
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C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,494
1,456
Bedfordshire
It might be more relevant to ask if the experience of being caught and released leaves a lasting trauma on the fish. If you hurt a mammal, many will carry the psychological effect around afterwards. Fish can be made wary, but is that the same thing?

I don't know about whether fish feel pain, they certainly have sensors in their mouths that allow them to tell the difference between food and non-food, often very quickly. However, in my experience they don't behave differently when removed from the water whether they have been hooked with a tiny thin wire hook in a bony bit of jaw, a great big hook somewhere soft, or simply netted out of the water.

Seems like its a hard thing to study without any bias. There are people who like fishing, and those that thing is is awful. I don't know what reason there would be to conduct a study unless it was to find proof to support one side or the other.

While catch and release may not have as great a survival rate as proponents hope, a lot is down to how it is done. I don't think there can be much argument that taking everything caught for the pot would quickly remove all the fish. That was a problem in some places in the past. Bag limits help, but encouraging fish to be returned allowed fishing to continue without destroying the fisheries
 

henchy3rd

Full Member
Apr 16, 2012
391
251
Derby
I think that's probably nail on the head. It seems to make sense they would feel pain, but if they do, you can imagine a lot of folk would want to cover it up. I don't know if they do feel pain, the jury is out for me. Just seems illogical to catch without planning on taking them for the pot.

Out of interest, do you eat farmed meat?
I only eat organic & ethical meats or what I trap/shoot & only for my table.
I’ve not eaten ocean fish for 17 years either from trawled or hook & pole as I’m against their methods & ethics..but I will eat sea fish if caught by myself if given the chance.
It’s a personal choice for me & I understand a lot of people can’t do it because it’s to expensive.
 

henchy3rd

Full Member
Apr 16, 2012
391
251
Derby
It might be more relevant to ask if the experience of being caught and released leaves a lasting trauma on the fish. If you hurt a mammal, many will carry the psychological effect around afterwards. Fish can be made wary, but is that the same thing?

I don't know about whether fish feel pain, they certainly have sensors in their mouths that allow them to tell the difference between food and non-food, often very quickly. However, in my experience they don't behave differently when removed from the water whether they have been hooked with a tiny thin wire hook in a bony bit of jaw, a great big hook somewhere soft, or simply netted out of the water.

Seems like its a hard thing to study without any bias. There are people who like fishing, and those that thing is is awful. I don't know what reason there would be to conduct a study unless it was to find proof to support one side or the other.

While catch and release may not have as great a survival rate as proponents hope, a lot is down to how it is done. I don't think there can be much argument that taking everything caught for the pot would quickly remove all the fish. That was a problem in some places in the past. Bag limits help, but encouraging fish to be returned allowed fishing to continue without destroying the fisheries
This is what the debates & studies are about.. trauma/pain & psychological affects.
It’s seems to be a very grey area as words get twisted to suit individual needs?
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,758
4,033
Mid Wales
It might be more relevant to ask if the experience of being caught and released leaves a lasting trauma on the fish. If you hurt a mammal, many will carry the psychological effect around afterwards. Fish can be made wary, but is that the same thing?

I don't know about whether fish feel pain, they certainly have sensors in their mouths that allow them to tell the difference between food and non-food, often very quickly. However, in my experience they don't behave differently when removed from the water whether they have been hooked with a tiny thin wire hook in a bony bit of jaw, a great big hook somewhere soft, or simply netted out of the water.

Seems like its a hard thing to study without any bias. There are people who like fishing, and those that thing is is awful. I don't know what reason there would be to conduct a study unless it was to find proof to support one side or the other.

While catch and release may not have as great a survival rate as proponents hope, a lot is down to how it is done. I don't think there can be much argument that taking everything caught for the pot would quickly remove all the fish. That was a problem in some places in the past. Bag limits help, but encouraging fish to be returned allowed fishing to continue without destroying the fisheries

And that is the argument from the angler's corner. It seems that it is very difficult to find independent, objective, research; studies funded by the fisheries industries show 'no pain' (though they acknowledge a stimulated response), studies funded by animal rights/protection groups feel they have demonstrated overwhelming evidence of a 'pain' response and pain memory.

The research on catch and release was quite alarming - even expertly handled the survival rate was considerably lower than expected. I should declare that I was chairman of a game/fly fishing consortium and responsible for stock levels and ensuring fish health so, at one time, I was heavily into the latest thinking. Catch limits already exist; only exceeding the limits would decrease the fish stock but there would be mass protest if we prevented catch and release.

I believe there are about the same number of people fresh water fishing in the UK as play football, so around 2 million.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,758
4,033
Mid Wales
Fishing is a huge hobby (probably one of the most popular in the UK) and they are responsible for a lot of environmental good. (I know a farmer who lives in a relatively water free area; he dug a fishpond, which has increased biodiversity )

Imagine how much that would change if they decided they were harming the fish?
The same argument applies to releasing millions of non-indigenous birds into our countryside every year then blasting about 50% of the them out of the sky with lead (and only 40% of those end up on a table by the way).

But as long as we humans are amusing ourselves it's fine :)
 

Tengu

Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
11,356
756
48
Wiltshire
But a lot of our woods are only there because of pheasants. (Yup, non natives, but been in GB as long as the Fallow deer have been)

We might as well ask about the damage done by not tackling our pest problems.

And since Dad is itching to go abroad...by mass travel.

(Wanting to go abroad is a joke to me; if I ever had the money no doubt it would go on investments...)
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,758
4,033
Mid Wales
But a lot of our woods are only there because of pheasants. (Yup, non natives, but been in GB as long as the Fallow deer have been)

We might as well ask about the damage done by not tackling our pest problems.

And since Dad is itching to go abroad...by mass travel.

(Wanting to go abroad is a joke to me; if I ever had the money no doubt it would go on investments...)

So we are told but when you look at the amount of woodland that is actually used to rear pheasant it's a convenient lie.

Thousands of pheasant and French partridge remain out in the wild every year. Pheasant compete for nesting space and eat a huge range of invertebrates and small reptiles that are already under stress because of loss of environment.

No other group of people would get away with such huge releases into the environment without controls.
 

henchy3rd

Full Member
Apr 16, 2012
391
251
Derby
So we are told but when you look at the amount of woodland that is actually used to rear pheasant it's a convenient lie.

Thousands of pheasant and French partridge remain out in the wild every year. Pheasant compete for nesting space and eat a huge range of invertebrates and small reptiles that are already under stress because of loss of environment.

No other group of people would get away with such huge releases into the environment without controls.
Although the woods & land are a different topic..but of great value of ideas & input.maybe there should be a separate thread for it?
It all has a knock on effect on our native flora & fauna.
Canadian geese, American mink,signal crayfish, zanda to name a few & all without any thought about the consequences.
There has been eradication zones of evasive species throughout the world with great effect..so why not try it here on a grand scale, even just to limit the numbers would help?
I guess it’s all down to cost & implications.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,758
4,033
Mid Wales
Although the woods & land are a different topic..but of great value of ideas & input.maybe there should be a separate thread for it?
It all has a knock on effect on our native flora & fauna.
Canadian geese, American mink,signal crayfish, zanda to name a few & all without any thought about the consequences.
There has been eradication zones of evasive species throughout the world with great effect..so why not try it here on a grand scale, even just to limit the numbers would help?
I guess it’s all down to cost & implications.

Yes, sorry, way off the fish topic.

However, as much as Canada Geese are a nuisance, they have been naturally migrating here for thousands of years. We believe mink are on the decline thankfully due to otter numbers rising. Grey squirrel should be reduced dramatically if the contraception is cheap enough for widespread use. Other species are more problematic.

I have no problem with people fishing for leisure and pleasure; I just don't (well, I enjoy it, but I stop when I have my meal).
 

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