Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fish and Pain

Yesterday a friend of mine, Vermont Fisheries Biologist extraordinaire (and injured hockey star) Shawn Good put up a couple of interesting news articles:


Apparently PETA has been contacting Vermont and asking them to end youth fishing programs because it is teaching children violence (of course the video games that are oh so prevalent these days seem to be acceptable because they do not harm any animals- sarcasm by me). Violence in fishing huh? I haven't seen a lot of violence when drifting nymphs, tossing dries and the like. I won't mention fishing for pike, musky, bowfin and the like... but of course that is violence on the fish's part, not mine... Is that kind of violence acceptable PETA?

I don't work with the group mentioned in the article but I am one of the councilors at Vermont Trout Unlimited Trout Camp. I love to teach youth how to fish. And conservation of fisheries. Funny how I never hear of PETA helping to defend habitat like TU and other "violent" angling conservation groups do. I really look forward to teaching a whole new group of kids our "violent" sport this coming summer.

Shawn then put up this article:


Finally! A definitive study that shows that fish do not have the brain power or basic structures to feel pain or emotions. People, let's face something- they are FISH! 

The biggest issue for me with fishing and fish health is proper handling of fish. Most fish are somewhat delicate and need to be handled minimally and with great care especially for their mucus covering and their gills. They also need to be kept in the water as much as possible (which is why I have a lot of issues with bass tournaments but that is another post entirely).

Glad to see that scientists have got this worked out and can hopefully settle the debate somewhat. Here is the long and the short of it from that article:

Jim Rose, professor of zoology and physiology at the University of Wisconsin, who led the project, said: ‘In spite of large injections of acid or bee venom, that would cause severe pain to a human, the trout showed remarkably little effect.’
Fish also resumed normal activity within minutes of surgical procedures, as well as after being caught and released back into the water. Prof Rose added: ‘It is highly improbable that fish can experience pain.

Thank you Jim Rose!

I wish PETA would come and talk to the gar that caused this violence upon Ken's leg...

1 comment:

  1. I think you're being overly hard on PETA Drew, I've been a member for years...People Eating Tasty Animals