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Thread: Do Fish Feel Pain?

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young View Post
    OJ, thank you for giving the commercial name of MS222. I am glad that it is available to the public. When the fish is anesthetized and then frozen, it feels nothing when it is frozen. Rather than waiting for the fish to die of anesthetic overdose, one can put the anesthetized fish into a freezer and the death results from the freezing. However, if one cannot get the anesthestic agent, putting the fish on ice and putting it in a freezer is better than cutting its head off or flushing it down the toilet.

    Wise.
    Wise, I agree that ice is a far better option than cutting off the head or flushing a fish. I guess the point I was trying to make is if Finquel is used properly, it kills aquarium fish peacefully within minutes and removes the need to freeze. It is available fairly cheaply and quite easy to obtain as most large pet stores do carry it. As far as I know, it is the only fish anesthestic that one can buy commercially.

    Going off topic but I remember the first time I needed to euthanize a fish. It was about 9 years ago and I was surprised by how many web sites there were devoted to the subject. One site in particular gave a very lengthy explanation (complete with photographs) of what the author called the most humane way to do it: electrocution. He had battery packs and all kinds of wires running in and out of a full fish tank. And I thought that is great, but what happens if you accidentally electrocute yourself along with the fish. Sorry for the diversion . This thread just reminded me of that.

    I want to believe that fish don't feel pain. But I think they do.

  2. #22
    Wise you are starting to sound like some Bass fishermen I know. We would argue for hrs over whether it hurt them to rip a hook in their mouth and have it swallowed, if it didn't hurt them why would they bleed and sometimes die? ha!

  3. #23
    Senior Member Timaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by addiesue View Post
    Now Timaru if a giant someone threw a giant hook at you and it stuck would you really run toward them?
    When I fish I move like a wraith in the night and cast my fly with such skill and delicacy it lands on the water as gently as a butterfly with sore feet (I wish)!

    How would the fish know where I was?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young View Post
    I was referring to noxious stimulation such as poking a fish on the side. In high school, I spent my summers on an island south of Tokyo called Miyake-jima. I did skin-diving and have speared many fish for dinner. They will swim away when you try to spear them and graze them.

    I don't know what motivates a fish to swim towards or away from a fisherman when it has been hooked. Probably, it is just swimming to get away and sometimes this may be towards and other times it is away from the fisherman. As I said, I don't know whether what the fish is feeling.

    Wise.
    Your school holidays sound idyllic particularly to someone facing the dank greyness of an English Winter.

    Have you any ideas as to why trout can be "tickled", this is the art of spotting a fish under a rock, gently slideing your hand under it then stroking it's belly until it falls into a coma when it can be grabbed behind the gills and thrown onto the bank. What causes it to go into this trance like state?

  4. #24
    In order to avoid noxious stimuli (pain) a fish would swim toward the angler to lessen the "pain"
    Fear is a powerful anaesthetic and when animals, including humans, are frightened they can ignore a lot of pain in order to try and escape the source of the fear. I am guessing that a hooked fish is at leat a bit alarmed by its predicament and I therefore think even if logic says that swimming towards the angler would reduce the pain this does not mean that swimming away from an angler is an indication that it does not feel pain.

  5. #25
    I never really gave much thought to fish having pain, however I don´t doubt for a second that a live lobster being thrown into a pot of boiling water is going out painless. That always seemed a bit cruel to me.

    Salamanders have the ability to shed their tails when they think they are about to become dinner. It is surprising just how fast the tail and the tissue will seperate from the main body (used to check them out as a scout while camping in the Adirondacks). The tail then goes into rapid wiggle mode, hoping to catch the attention of the predator while the salamander tries to escape. My question is: Do they feel pain when dropping their tails?





    Ow!
    Last edited by Mike C; 11-09-2008 at 10:26 PM.
    "So I have stayed as I am, without regret, seperated from the normal human condition." Guy Sajer

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by duge View Post
    Wise you are starting to sound like some Bass fishermen I know. We would argue for hrs over whether it hurt them to rip a hook in their mouth and have it swallowed, if it didn't hurt them why would they bleed and sometimes die? ha!
    Duge,

    When I fish, I carry a pair of clamps (I suppose they call them fishing pliers) for grabbing the hook and easing it out rather than having to jerk a deeply set hook out by brute force. I do so not because I know that the fish feels pain but because it does seem to hurt the fish.

    Wise.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Timaru View Post
    When I fish I move like a wraith in the night and cast my fly with such skill and delicacy it lands on the water as gently as a butterfly with sore feet (I wish)!

    How would the fish know where I was?



    Your school holidays sound idyllic particularly to someone facing the dank greyness of an English Winter.

    Have you any ideas as to why trout can be "tickled", this is the art of spotting a fish under a rock, gently slideing your hand under it then stroking it's belly until it falls into a coma when it can be grabbed behind the gills and thrown onto the bank. What causes it to go into this trance like state?
    Timaru,

    I think you have given a very good reason why the fish behave the way they do when they have been hooked. The fish may not know where the fisherman is. On the other hand, when a fish is speared, they often do know who is chasing after them and they swim away with evident behavior indicative of fright and flight.

    If you ever watch a lioness catch and kill a gazelle on one of those nature movies of television, you might conclude from those observations that gazelles don't seem to feel pain. Yes, they run away and leap around but when they are caught, their faces appear to be calm while they are killed.

    Predation is a fact of nature. In my opinion, pain evolved as a mechanism that is beneficial to the animal. So, pain prevents you from walking on a broken leg. Pain forces you to allow a part of your body to heal before using it and to avoid things that would hurt you.

    Pain, however, paralyzes you and this is not a good thing when you are escaping from a predator. That is one reason endogenous opioids pour out with adrenalin, so that you don't feel pain when you are running away from a predator, are catching a pray, or are in battle.

    That is why gazelles don't feel pain, why soldiers may not realize that they had been cut or shot in the battle until afterward, and why fish behave the way they do when they have been hooked. Pain is disabled in such circumstances.

    By the way, I went to Miyakejima to teach English to a junior high school. They killed about a pig a month on the island and therefore there is no other source of protein except for fish. There were lots of sharks around. We would fish for our dinner every dusk. I couldn't catch the faster fish and therefore could spear only the moray eels and parrot fishes.

    Wise.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by margaret09 View Post
    I think fish feel pain but they are made for me to live. So I will have my plate clean or I will not leave a piece of food to be thrown because they chose to die for me to live.
    I feel likewise. It seems disrepectful to throw meat away. Wise.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
    I never really gave much thought to fish having pain, however I don´t doubt for a second that a live lobster being thrown into a pot of boiling water is going out painless. That always seemed a bit cruel to me.

    Salamanders have the ability to shed their tails when they think they are about to become dinner. It is surprising just how fast the tail and the tissue will seperate from the main body (used to check them out as a scout while camping in the Adirondacks). The tail then goes into rapid wiggle mode, hoping to catch the attention of the predator while the salamander tries to escape. My question is: Do they feel pain when dropping their tails?

    Ow!
    Great images. I suspect that they don't feel the pain in such a circumstance. When I was young in Hong Kong, I use to try catch lizards and often was left with only their tail in my fingers and it may still be wiggling. The body has many ways to stop pain. Endogenous opioids are released and pain neurons are probably inhibited. Opioid receptors evolved for the purpose of turning off the pain response.

    Wise.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by adi chicago View Post
    I feel sorry for the fish ....I was hungry.
    Adi, hunger is one of the strongest motivations. Fish feel hungry too and many of them eat each other. A few would eat humans if they could. That is a huge fish you are holding. Wow. Enough for the whole family that night. Must have felt good.

    Wise.

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