Now let me say from the outset that I am not a fisherman, I am not a “greenie” nor am I an anti-cruelty activist. From my perspective, it seems that there are basically three type of fishing – fishing for food for personal consumption, fishing for fish for sale both as they are, or processed, and then there’s the so-called “sport-fishing”.
Now for the sake of the debate, let’s assume that the birds of the air were wonderful to eat. Can you picture a man in his backyard or in the bush somewhere, with a rod and reel with a hook and a worm, trying to capture a particular species for dinner. His first catch for the day happened to be a sparrow, hardly a good size for one man. He rips the hook out of the poor bird’s mouth and encourages it to fly away.
He baits his hook again and dangles it in the breeze, awaiting a larger species. This time he reels in a honey-eater, which as you can imagine, put up a bigger fight than the sparrow. The man says to himself “caught one of those last week, didn’t taste too good” and again removes the hook from the stricken bird and sets it free, not knowing or caring if it survives.
Undaunted, the man goes to the beach- “seagulls are biting this time of year, and they taste better as well” he says as he loads his hook with a tasty morsel. This time success, after 3 attempts he finally catches his lunch.
If this were really happening - can you imagine the outcry from the RSPCA, Greenpeace and Earth-Watch, from Bob Brown, the CWA and the Animal Liberation groups? I have no qualms about anyone fishing for food, but can we continue to allow sport fishing where marlin angling is the equivalent of the now-outlawed foxhunt. The stress to the marlin or any other fish is unknown, the damage to the health of the fish is not known, but we continue to allow this cruel “sport”. Does anyone have any research on the survival of big game fish after being hooked, hauled aboard, and severely stressed and then being thrown back into the water and forgotten?
That’s it for me – let me have your views by writing a comment below.