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Possibly it would depend on hook position. I look at fish which feed on shellfish such as bream, wrasse and parrot fish to name but a few. Their jaws are so heavily armoured with crushing plates that i can't see how they would feel pain if hooked in the mouth. If a bream doesn't feel pain cracking open an oyster or mussell, they surely can't feel a hook going in to the same area.
 

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Back in my uni days. I briefly studied marine biology and aquaculture I found a study on trout and bee venom. When bee venom was added to the tank containing the trout they displayed signs of irritation and the author hypothesised that this was a reaction of pain to the bee venom. I believe fish do feel pain but it doesn't stop me fishing.
 

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We were discussing pain at the dinner table today and I was recounting the story of me attaching myself to a fish via a lure treble. I wasn't really feeling any pain. I could feel the hook in my finger but it didn't hurt. The fact I was able to grab the hook with a pair of pliers and try push it out far enough to cut the barb and even cutting down to the point with a knife out of my ute tool box is testament to that. Normally I would expect to feel light headed at the sight of blood so maybe hooked fish react similar?
 

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I always get lumped with "Icky stick" duties on group fishing jaunts. I try to be as respectful to the 'catch and release' fish as well as the table fish. I even (under my breath) say sorry to them for being a pain in the arse and ruining their day, and could they not be disparaging about us to their mates cos I'm after them too. I've worked up to it and wouldn't go back for the world. I reckon a lot of people would benefit from being more directly involved in the process of putting food on the table. it really makes you think twice about what goes into your body and personally makes me feel a lot more strongly about where my food comes from. A couple of years ago I couldn't even scale and gut my own catch, so I cant understand how people can treat live animals poorly. Regardless of whether they are capable of "cognitive" recognition of pain or not.
 

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Lapse said:
With a human, we consciously interpret it as very uncomfortable/painful and then make a conscious reaction to reduce the pain
Whereas fish, it skips the conscious part of the brain, but rather the signal just triggers an unconscious reaction.

[/b]
I agree..
 
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I accept wikepedia as the best reference on the subject.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pain_in_fish

I was Salmon fishing on the beech about a week ago. A guy about 80 meters away fishing with bait lost a fish. He had barely made it back to tie on a new hook when I hooked up. When landed, there was a leader and swivel hanging out of the fish's mouth. The guy confirmed it was his line & swivel and accepted the fish (the hook had lodged in the gills). If fish feel pain, they seem to get over it quickly. However, that does not rule out that fish may feel pain. Aside from treating fish humanely because its the right thing to do, we need to minimise ammunition for the organisers of the following:

http://www.peta.org.au/issue/theres-no-sport-in-fishing/

It's probably reasonable to assume peta.org monitor what we discuss.
 

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I assume fish can feel pain so I kill or release them ASAP. I don't want to live-bait anymore for this reason, which is making Kings Quest a bit tricky.

Interesting quote from the WP article SteveR linked:

"researchers remained unsure into the 1980s as to whether animals experience pain, and veterinarians trained in the U.S. before 1989 were simply taught to ignore animal pain."
 

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I don't have a strong view on whether fish do or don't feel pain but I'm inclined to believe they do.

I actually had a serious rethink about the whole fishing thing a couple of years ago. Then, as now I didn't live bait and I didn't kill to catch (dead bait) and I practiced catch and release.

It bothered me that we were hooking fish for our entertainment. If it does hurt the fish how do we reconcile that?

Although it's delusional to think that even ethical rec fishing does no damage, I think you have to look at the environment we are pulling fish from. It's brutal down there. From bream gnawing off razor sharp molluscs to sharks running down and mauling pelagics. It's go eat dog (or fish). Fish aren't just hungry, they are also often territorial, even engage in filicide (to anthropomorphise a bit).

So, to put it in perspective, in the grand scheme of things I don't think a hook in the gob and a couple of minutes on the end of a line is going to have a devastating effect on a fish given what they deal with on a daily basis. But we do have a responsibility to minimise our footprint and treat them humanely.
 
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