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Humane Angling

A rod and line without the hook
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The matter of whether fish feel pain when caught by a hook has long been debated by anglers and animal rights advocates. Unfortunately for anglers, scientific studies conducted in recent years lend considerable weight to the argument that fish do feel pain in a similar way to mammals.

However if angling were banned, many small economies and businesses throughout the world would be severely affected, putting many people out of work.

For the sake therefore of the livelihoods of the many people hooked on the angling economy, and of the psychological health of both the fish and anglers involved in the sport, an alternative to the hook must be sought.

The author proposes a lifting of the ban on fishing with nets, so long as they are small and light enough to be cast with a rod and line.

The sport of angling would thereafter become one of inventing nets designed to catch only one of a particular size of fish while being easily cast as far as is common with hooks.

Competitions could then be held not for the size of fish caught, but for the ratio of fish to net size, placing a greater emphasis on ingenuity than does the design of hooks.

The apparent flaw in this proposal is that anglers will protest that half of the fun of angling is in not letting the fish get away after it has been hooked. The author however begs to differ - rather, the only frustration in angling arises when the fish manages to escape.

Furthermore, youngsters involved in angling with nets rather than hooks will hopefully carry with them into later life more the qualites of inventiveness, perfection and accuracy, than a fetish for "catching big fish" with barbed hooks.

Fishing with nets therefore, would improve the sport of angling on all counts, and also facilitate the arrival of the new thinking epoch.

altitude, Sep 28 2007

Humane Angling Fly-on-the-wall_20Fishing
No hooks, just a videocam to record what you didn't catch. [DrCurry, Oct 02 2007]

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       Welcome to the halfbakery.   

       I shoot fish with spears, and I'm pretty sure they feel pain. I don't think my psychological health suffers from doing it, though.   

       Fishing with nets is not banned persay, so much as it is already regulated in different manners in different locales.   

       Castnets already exist, (edit), of the whirled over the head and thrown by hand variety. I like the concept of having one on a fishing pole, although damned if I could figure out how to make it work reliably.   

       I don't think the psychological health of myself or the fish would improve, although I would like to try netcasting.   

       I don't think a "fetish for catching big fish with barbed hooks" quite describes fishing as I know it. Do you fish?   

       "Facilitate the arrival of the new thinking epoch" - I can't take that seriously. Was I supposed to ?
normzone, Sep 28 2007
  

       As a non-angler, I'm not too worked up about this. But I thought I'd seen something about fishing with barbless hooks. Presumably these need more skill, and cause less trauma to the fish?   

       To be honest, if it's OK to trawl three tons of sardine out of the sea, I don't think we're entitled to worry about hooking a trout.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 28 2007
  

       Normzone: I used to fish in lakes and rivers when I was younger - "..barbed hooks" was a jest based on youtube vids of "beer and gas guzzling sport fishermen who fish from yachts." My idea is to make a day of peaceful angling by a river a yet more peaceful affair. As for psychological health, I've noticed that children are naturally averse to the sport and will only succumb to it under peer pressure.   

       21Quest: I believe in killing the fish before gutting - it only takes a second to chop off its head with a small cleaver. As for the rod and line, the net has to be light enough to cast and would be more of a "floating lobster trap for fish" than a traditional fish net. Say the net was cone shaped, then the bait would be put near the apex of the cone, while the base of the cone would have the line threaded around it. Floats coupled to the net would indicate when to "pull", which would close the base of the net. To add back some fun and increase difficulty in competitions, the net would have a rigid base, making it easier for the fish to escape.   

       Lt Frank: In the process of slaughtering mammals, society on the whole has always tried to minimize their suffering, while in catching fish, it has until recently thought that fish do not suffer in the same way. However as I stated there is growing scientific evidence to the contrary. The point is that many people who would enjoy a days fishing, myself included, would enjoy it more if the fish didn't have to be tortured before it was released or killed.
altitude, Sep 30 2007
  

       My quibble is that using nets is not "angling." You want to go fishing, you need to keep the rod and reel, even if you lose the hooks and stuff.
DrCurry, Oct 02 2007
  

       I read this as Human Angling and was dreading a random piercing idea.   

       Net this.
(+)
  

       Couldn't you make something similar to a mouse trap that snapped onto the fish's head when it tugged the bait? It would need some designing so that it could administer an instantly deadly blow to the brain and grasp the fish, but I'm sure it's not beyond the realms of possibility.
marklar, Oct 02 2007
  

       Yeah, but people fish for catfish with their hands, anyway.
DrCurry, Oct 02 2007
  

       //I read this as Human Angling and was dreading a random piercing idea.//

Great idea, 2fries! I can just see myself sitting atop some large building on a rainy day with a camp chair, a lunch box and a thermos full of coffee. Cast off into the street below and see how many people you can catch by hooking onto the jewellery adorning their piercings. Might need one of those heavy duty chairs that they use for catching Marlins etc rather than a camp stool. Some high poundage line might be in order too.

"Damn, it's just another Goth. Throw it back!"
DrBob, Oct 03 2007
  

       How is this more humane? Please clarify. It may be "less painful", but I'm not convinced that it's more humane than using a hook.
Noexit, Oct 05 2007
  
      
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