Fish: Pain or no Pain?

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Hello, people! I found these interesting articles online that may change your points of view in relationship to fish and pain, as well as inform you of things that you may never heard before. Being a compulsive fisherman that I am, the pain issue in fish is fundamental for my sport.

Despite your conclusion at the end, I'll utmost respect it. As for my personal opinion: I'll continue fishing as freely as I ever did, and happily as well! So, here's the main question: Do fish feel pain or not?

Here we go:

--> Peta's point of view in angling

Notes (emphasis):

"While the numbers continue to decline compared to decades ago, more than 29 million people still went fishing in 2006, spending billions of dollars on their "hobby.""

"Some are destined for human consumption, many are tortured just for "sport," and others are unintended victims who are maimed or killed simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time."

"Researchers at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation found that as many as 43 percent of fish released after being caught died within six days."

"Of course, the best way to avoid the dangers of mercury is to not eat fish at all."

 "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."

"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."

--> Article on debate of "pain or no pain in fish".

Note (emphasis):

"Every time I see an angler, I say a little prayer that he will get his fishing hook lodged in his body, and then perhaps he will give some thought to the barbaric 'sport' he is pursuing."

"The animal-rights group has a "Fishing Hurts" campaign, armed with papers demonstrating that "fish are more intelligent than they appear" and with a video from the late Linda McCartney. "Have you ever seen a fish gasping for breath when you take it out of the water?" she asks. "They're saying 'Thanks a lot for killing me. It feels great.'"

"For the kids, PETA wants to rebrand fish as "sea kittens." You can create your own sea kitten here. I named mine "Blair." (

"I remember an old guy who refused to wear polarized lenses (which provide the great advantage of seeing through the glare on top of the water). He told me: "I'm not a killer.""

"I  think there is a fine line between torture and hunting.  We eat fish, cows, chicken, pigs and other animals.  All we can do is to try to make it as humane as possible.  If you have a problem with eating these things, please feel free to go to your nearest tree and take a bite.  We'll soon see people arise who say that trees and bushes feel pain as well."

--> 10 Page article on the Lobster Festival in Maine, which happens yearly.

Note (emphasis): (Page 4-6)

“you have to line up for an ungodly long time to get your lobsters, and meanwhile there are all these ex–flower children coming up and down along the line handing out pamphlets that say the lobsters die in terrible pain and you shouldn’t eat them.”

"...often deploying celebrity spokespeople like Mary Tyler Moore for open letters and ads saying stuff like “Lobsters are extraordinarily sensitive” and “To me, eating a lobster is out of the question.”

"A blunter way to say this is that the lobster acts as if it’s in terrible pain, causing some cooks to leave the kitchen altogether and to take one of those little lightweight plastic oven timers with them into another room and wait until the whole process is over."

"It turned out that one Mr. William R. Rivas-Rivas, a high-ranking PETA official out of the group’s Virginia headquarters, was indeed there this year, albeit solo, working the Festival’s main and side entrances on Saturday, August 2, handing out pamphlets and adhesive stickers emblazoned with “Being Boiled Hurts,” which is the tagline in most of PETA’s published material about lobster."

--> Another PETA article on Pain and fish. This is more SCIENTIFIC.


"Anyone who made it through Biology 101 knows that fish have nerves and brains that sense pain, just as all animals do."

"Said Dr. Lynne Sneddon, who headed the study,"Really, it's kind of a moral question. Is your angling more important than the pain to the fish?"

"Order PETA's free vegetarian/vegan starter kit for great tips and recipes to help you make the transition to a fish-free vegan diet."

Also, note the picture, please...Someone was using a treble hook (3 sides) to fish whatever small fish is that. Not only that, the lip of the fish is completely destroyed. I hardly saw this kind of injury in my fishing life.

--> No comments on this one.


"For most, fish amount to little more than swimming protein, a healthy food to be plucked from rivers and seas"

"But, as a disturbing new book shows, scientists are now confident that fish, once symbolic of dumb, primitive stupidity, do not only feel pain, but have a complex emotional life, too."

"After all, many 'vegetarians' eat fish, apparently convinced that a salmon is more like a lettuce than a lamb."

"Scientists claim that goldfish, renowned for their stupidity, actually have the ability to learn"

"But does this really matter? Well, humans currently kill a staggering 500,000,000,000 fish a year. And the way we catch - and kill - fish is not pretty."

Other Articles:

--> 2003 research.
--> 2009 research.
--> Interview with Dr. james D. Rose
--> Lynne Sneddon Vs. Dr. James D. Rose
--> Article on Victoria, writer of the Book "Do Fish feel Pain?" (2010)
--> A Review on "Do Fish feel Pain?" (2010). Google the book for more reviews.
--> Very scientific article in terms of psychology and biology of fish.
--> The book "Do Fish feel pain", by Victoria.
--> 01/12/10. One of the latest experiments with fish.

I hope these were informative to you. As for me, I'm very satisfied with the amount of knowledge I've gained. I'll study Dr. Rose's research further, and see how reliable his sources are.

Best of luck for all of us!

Long Days and Pleasant Nights,


Leo S.