”You will get people very excited about dolphins because they are mammals, and about horses and dogs, if they are not treated properly. At the same time you will have fishing competitions on the River Murray at which thousands of people snare fish with hooks and allow them to asphyxiate on the banks, which is a fairly uncomfortable and miserable death.”
— Professor Bill Runciman, Professor of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Adelaide University
Fishing is considered a recreational past-time among most Australians and Australia has a large commercial fishing fleet. Any animal protection group that raises the issue of fish welfare in this country is instantly derided.
Having to acknowledge that fish feel pain and distress is not something that those who enjoy fishing, or those whose income is generated through fishing, want to know about.
As an animal protection organisation, Animals Australia’s role is to present facts that will allow the community to make informed choices — whether they be fishermen (or women) or those who eat fish — knowing that many members of the community if informed, will make personal choices that don’t cause harm to others.
Therefore, the fact that fish feel pain and distress is just another inconvenient truth that needs to be told.