Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Kissing makes it better.

Ever wondered about ‘catch and release’ fishing?
Fishing has always had the nod, even JC himself had a soft spot for fishermen. Truth is, we were ‘designed’ to eat meat and fish, being swamped in omega 3’s gets full marks.
However, one can eat only so much fish, so catch and release was invented as a sport.
We buy expensive tackle and race the outboard to where they’re biting and spend the day fishing. Very acceptable, or is it?

Ok, so we put a bit of their favourite nosh on the hook. Fishie swims by, goes for it and whoops! This prawn, squid, mullet or weed won’t go down properly. Suddenly it hurts like hell and something else is in there, jerking into the flesh.

Then the fish is lifted from the water, where for the first time, its full weight is felt and all that weight is concentrated into the spot where the hook is biting deeper.
Imagine being lifted by a hook through your lip, as often as not coming out through the eye socket or even stuck in your throat. Along with the pain is the panic of being dragged into a world where you can’t breathe.

Then, while the fish is gasping the equivalent of a mammal drowning, jerking around on the hook, we have the photo opportunity. After all that, the hook is removed.
That is the cruellest part, dragging the barb backwards through the flesh. And kissing ‘makes it better’? Hello!

So, what’s the point?
Well, I used to hunt too. Rabbits mainly, but I sold my guns long ago. Too many bad feelings watching animals die. They may be feral and they may be pests, but they don’t know that and they feel pain just as much as I do.
I still fish, but always use a landing net and never, never catch more than I can eat. Every time I go fishing the joy decreases and the guilt increases and the time is coming when I’ll be getting my omega 3’s from olive oil.

We can’t help stepping on ants and spraying flies is a necessity, but to wilfully inflict that level of pain on one of nature’s creatures, once you realise what we are doing to the fish, is just plain bastardry. Of course, very few see it that way, so maybe I’m wrong. Bull fighting, cock and dog fighting are still acceptable to some, but they all make me want to throw up. Here, if we wilfully inflicted that sort of pain on a dog, a cat or each other we’d be jailed!
But we still torture fish in the name of sport. What do you think?


  1. I'm with you on this one, 'Ford. Stopped killing things for fun at about fifteen. Just looked at the dead rabbit, looked at the gun, and felt a switch flick. Killing for need, killing for feed, killing in mercy - yes. But not killing for fun. -Karl.

  2. Thanks Karl. I didn't choose it for this reason, but the picture I lifted from the web is of(as you would know)a marlin and of all the fish we catch the marlin gets the cruellest treatment.
    The point if marlin fishing is to use the lightest possible tackle and take the longest time to reel it in. Its pain supplies the adrenalin to fight until it is exhausted. It is then reeled in for the photo opportunity and smiles all around. But I don't need to tell you this!

  3. Dad - Have you been talking to Rachael?

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