Home Fish Facts Do Fish Feel Pain When They Get Hooked? (Quick Read)

Do Fish Feel Pain When They Get Hooked? (Quick Read)

by gvald

With their mouths pierced by sharp metal hooks, pulled out of the water, convulsing and struggling in an environment that does not allow them to breathe, they are killed instantly, left suffocating on the side or thrown back into the sea, traumatized and sometimes mortally wounded, we have to admit that fish suffer at our hands.


How do fish feel when they are pulled out of the water?

When they are pulled out of the water, fish start to suffocate. Their gills collapse, their swim bladder may tear because of the sudden change in pressure. This is a truly horrific experience for the animals, who, like us, feel pain.


What about fish released into the water?

Just because a fisherman releases a fish into the water does not mean that it has not suffered.


Studies have shown that fish that are caught and released suffer severe physiological stress, often to the point that they die from shock. Fish often swallow the hooks, fishermen try to remove them from the throat by putting their fingers or pliers on them, tearing not only the hook, but also the throat and intestines of the fish at the same time.


When fishermen hold the fish in their hands, it disturbs the protective layer on their body. All this makes them fragile and easy targets for predators once they return to the water.


According to one fishery expert, victims caught and released “may be more vulnerable to predators, unable to flee, or unable to fend off attacks on their nest during the nesting season. Some male guardians may indeed abandon the nest.


Do fish feel pain when fished?

A much discussed question, there are 2 schools and both have their arguments, some affirm with certainty that a fish does not suffer, that it is simply a reflex, but that they are not conscious of the pain caused, since they are not endowed with a neocortex as developed as that of man.


For others, this explanation is absurd, because fish spend their time in the depths of the sea, do not look like us, do not have recognizable facial expressions or cries audible to our ears, they often arouse less empathy than their land counterparts.


Scientists say, on the other hand, that some fish can suffer, and call on everyone to treat them with respect, including fishermen and fish farmers. In a report made public, the latter considers that there is no evidence to conclude that fish would not feel pain and that there is no absolute certainty, in either case.


In summary, to date, it seems difficult to assert one thesis or another. The scientific community does not agree, and studies on fish pain have sometimes completely opposite conclusions.


Between humans, we have learned to communicate via a language that allows us to understand each other and to evoke our emotions or our feelings.


Therefore, it would be completely absurd to consult a doctor for a pain that he would have analyzed but whose results of the examination would conclude that the said pain is surely in our head.


Pain is first a matter of “phenomenal consciousness”: everyone is right about his or her pain, and nothing and no one can contradict it. This is the problem facing the animal: no explicit verbal communication is possible with an animal. 

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