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The Cruelty of Catch-and-Release Fishing | Animal-Free Entertainment |...

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The Cruelty of Catch-and-Release Fishing

Written by PETA | April 21, 2015

This page was originally published at peta2.

Imagine that youre a fish, darting around your watery home and finding tasty snacks to enjoy. Now, imagine that you bite into one
of those snacks and suddenly feel searing pain as a sharp hook rips through your mouth. You fight against it, but the painful hook
is pulling you up toward the surface of the water. You struggle until every last ounce of your strength is gone. Youre then hoisted
into the air, away from the safety of the deep water, and thats when you begin to suffocate.
This is why fishing is NOT harmless family fun. Fish have nerves, just like cats, dogs, and even you! And this means that fish can
feel pain. Hooked fish endure not only physical pain, but also terror. When theyre removed from their natural environment, theyre
no longer able to breathe. Just imagine that horrible feeling youd experience if you were underwater, unable to get enough air. Its
the same for them on land! Once out of the water, fishes gills often collapse and their swim bladders can even RUPTURE
because of the sudden change in pressure.

Fish Head | Dawn Endico | CC BY 2.0

When fish are grabbed and handled by humans, the protective coating on their bodies is disturbed. This makes fish more
vulnerable to predators when theyre thrown back into the water.

sw_wa_fishing 063 | JSeattle | CC BY 2.0

Sometimes fish end up swallowing hooks, and anglers often try to retrieve them by shoving their fingers (or even a pair of pliers!)
down the fishs throat. This tactic rips out not only the hook but also part of the fishs throat and guts as well. Studies show that
many fish who are caught and thrown back into the water suffer such severe psychological distress that they actually die of shock.

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The Cruelty of Catch-and-Release Fishing | Animal-Free Entertainment |...

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Caught a fish. | BuzzFarmers | CC BY 2.0

Fishing doesnt only hurt fish. Millions of birds, turtles, and other animals sustain debilitating injuries after they swallow hooks or
become entangled in fishing lines. Wildlife rehabilitators say that discarded fishing tackle is one of the greatest threats to aquatic

Why torture animals for fun when there are so many other wonderful outdoor activities? Please encourage every angler you know
to try hiking, canoeing, or camping instead of catch-and-release fishing.
You can learn more about how fascinating these animals are and why they deserve our compassion at this fact page.


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510 | 757-622-PETA (7382) | 757-622-0457 (fax)
PETA is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) corporation (tax ID number 52-1218336).

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