Hide table of contents

I heard it recently suggested on twitter dort com that fishing is a noble hobby as it likely produces a less painful death than they'd otherwise suffer 'in the wild'.

Is there anything to this?

I'm not suggesting that people switch their working hours for fishing, but what if it were traded for something neutral, like watching TV?




New Answer
New Comment

2 Answers sorted by

I find it hard to convince myself that acts that promote speciesist attitudes (harming animals and ignoring their interests) wilfully can cause the best consequences for animals in the long term. It is currently empirically hard to compare the suffering due to hobby fishing, large scale fishing, bottom trawling, where fishes are asphyxiated, pierced etc. with that of being eaten by predators/disease/other natural harms,. I think a better strategy is to raise concern about animal suffering (anti- speciesism) and the natural harms they suffer,  while also researching what their welfare in the wild is and best ways to improve their wellbeing. Actively harming them in pursuit of saving them from wild harms seems to me sub optimal in terms of the overall consequences , at best we could promote sterilants or transform their ecosystemic factors to reduce suffering. It's also important to consdier the flow through effects.

My intuition is to strongly agree with you! I'm mostly checking myself for blind spots.

Not sure why your question was downvoted.

Brian Tomasik has written a few articles on this, including https://reducing-suffering.org/wild-caught-fishing-affects-wild-animal-suffering/

Overall, he thinks its unclear but urges erring on the side of caution: 

"This piece surveys reasons why the harvesting of wild fish might reduce as well as increase the suffering of oceanic creatures. The net impact is extremely unclear. (...) That said, I would probably err on the side of not eating fish, especially because wild-catch fishing may increase the amount of fish farming in the future."

Curated and popular this week
Relevant opportunities