Fishing as a hobby is unethical

The angler's natural ethics

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Published: Saturday, October 27, 2018 9:16 am
Written by Marius Meißner
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Fishing…

Some demonize it and claim it is cruelty to animals, others love it, whether for relaxation in nature, simply catching fish for food or simply as a hobby with friends. Then there are the really "crazy" ones, for whom fishing is an integral part of the daily routine, as you secure your livelihood with it, develop and test utensils for companies in the industry and / or help other people to find dream fish by guiding and imparting knowledge of the water . But all these anglers share the same passion for closeness to nature and the ambition to get a presentable catch on land or in a boat.

Now, of course, it cannot be denied that an angler now and again kills a fish for the home kitchen, but when anglers are blamed for the destruction of waters and the threat to certain fish species, I no longer understand the world. On the one hand, the amount of fish that anglers take from bodies of water is negligibly small compared to commercial fishing and the fish mortality caused by simple carelessness for nature or animals introduced from other parts of the world, on the other hand, I know There is no one who cares better than a responsible angler for the well-being of the fish and the cleanliness of the water and of all nature in general.

This responsibility is regulated in every fishing club in such a way that each member has to work a certain number of hours to clean up and care for the waters and their surroundings and whoever does not comply with this rule has to pay a fixed amount as a penalty for each hour not worked. With this I dare to say that in many places fishing clubs take better care of the waters than the competent authority, which is simply due to the fact that anglers have a greater relationship with the waters. The work carried out usually includes measures to maintain or restore the natural balance and the collection of rubbish.

Knowledge of the aquatic ecosystem, the rules for environmental protection, catch limits and closed seasons and the proper killing of fish are part of every fishing trial. Regarding the latter, many outsiders are of the opinion that an angler does not mind killing fish, but I know extremely many anglers who are very reluctant to kill a fish because they have too much respect for it or simply find death too disgusting watching an animal and in general, over 90 percent of the fish caught in my circle of friends are released. This background information should be enough to show that a sensible angler does more good than bad to nature and is by no means disrespectful to nature. Of course, as in every area of ​​life, there are some people who are not aware of their duties and responsibilities, but unfortunately that can never be completely controlled and controlled. In conclusion, I have to say that, as long as the rules are adhered to, the angler can definitely call himself a nature conservationist, since he is in a constant process of give and take, but always gives more than he takes.

Now to come to ethics: I have been a passionate angler myself for 9 years and have experienced many beautiful moments in nature, but I am also very often shocked at how badly many people treat their planet and how little consideration is given to other living beings. I myself stand behind the principle of pathocentrism, since no living being that is able to feel suffering should be inflicted unnecessarily. Of course, one should also take into account the living beings that are not capable of suffering, as these contribute to maintaining the health of an ecosystem in exactly the same way, but they feel no suffering, which is why it is not bad if they are harmed in small amounts, as long as it does not affect the entire ecosystem and thus also affects living beings capable of suffering. So I am of the opinion that no living being capable of suffering should be tormented or disrespected, but one should turn a blind eye to beings who are not capable of suffering, because it should be clear that it is exaggerated if one is afraid to walk across a meadow, because otherwise you damage the grass.

Respect for other living beings should always be preserved, but one should always separate the more practical ethics from reality, because humane killing, especially fish for anglers, requires training to keep the fish with hardly any pain, i.e. hardly any suffering to kill and the food chain has been knitted for millennia in such a way that the stronger eats the weaker or benefits from it, but one should take seriously the responsibility of only accepting the bare minimum of suffering for a living being. But if, like many people, one would see death as the greatest suffering, one would no longer have to differentiate between living beings capable of suffering and non-suffering, since they do not notice their death and do not suffer from it either.

In conclusion, it remains to be clarified ...
... killing a fish as quickly as possible and without suffering is not a crime for me, because the consumption of fish has always been part of life for humans and the fish that you catch are guaranteed to suffer less than fish bought from farms or large fishing companies, but on every fishing trip I see kilos of rubbish in and around water. The discoveries ranged from plastic bottles to shopping carts, sports bags and car tires to beer kegs. In my opinion, there is no excuse for this, as this garbage causes huge damage to all living things, although you can dispose of almost any type of garbage anywhere free of charge, which makes this endangerment of nature simply unnecessary. In this example you can quickly see that my evaluation of an action which involves inflicting suffering on nature and above all on the living beings that perceive this suffering is always influenced by its necessity and the sense of responsibility in carrying it out. You cannot completely prevent suffering in any way, but everyone should do their best to keep it as low as possible, regardless of whether you apply this principle to dealing with nature or any other area of ​​life.