AR Philosophy > Morality of AR > Biology - Index

What a fish feels

While this is not meant to be a direct attack on anyone who takes part in fly-fishing, this is just some information I thought might be good to know for anyone who doesn't already. This is from The Animals' Agenda, July/August 1991:

The central nervous systems of fish closely resembles ours. In vertibrates, free nerve-endings register pain; fish possess these nerve-endings in abundance.... When injured, fish writhe, gasp and show other signs of pain.... Most sound producing fish "vocalize" when prodded, held or chased...When hooked on a taut line for at least several minutes, carp spit gas from their swimbladders; after the line is slackened, they sink.

Catch and release fishing inflicts terror, pain and temporary disability. Frequently, it permanently or fatally disables. Fish commonly struggle so violently as the hook is being removed that anglers drop them on the hard bottom of a boat or a rocky bank. Dropping, netting, handling and other assaults remove a fish's delicate, transparent surface skin... this outermost layer protects against infection, waterloggin, and dehydration of internal tissues, any of which can be fatal.... Fish may also die of lactic-acid poisoning several hours after overexertion, hours during which they may be completely paralyzed. The hook causes injury; severe mouth lacerations can destroy a fish's ability to eat. Many fish are released after being hooked by the gills or internal organs, as when they swallow the hook into their stomach.

Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin,