Fishing: for and against

Fishing is probably the world’s most popular sports. Millions and millions of people spend billions and billions each year on tackle, bait, boats, fuel, repairs, four-wheel-drives —just so they can go fishing.

The case for fishing

Of all those millions of people, most of them are after fish to eat. Generally, they are happy with a few fish to feed themselves and their families. They catch fish that are found in huge numbers, so there is little danger of them being fished out.

People can’t catch fish every day of the year, either. There are times when the weather is too bad for fishing, times when people may have to go to work, even times when the fish may not be there! These breaks in fishing give the fish a chance to build up their numbers.

Anglers make a huge contribution to the economy. Not only do they spend money directly—as was mentioned earlier—they also spend it indirectly, such as in tax on their equipment or fuel, or in accommodation and airfares. This money keeps many people in work and provides many new jobs each year.

It is also a way of reducing stress. Many people who are stressed tum to drugs or alcohol to help them cope. Fishing, like other recreations, can be both fun and relaxing. People who are relaxed are generally healthier—and much nicer to be near (except for the smell of the bait!).

The case against fishing

There are too many people fishing. The fish aren’t farmed or conserved; they are just taken until there is none left. No animal can stand that sort of pressure. Modern cars and boats mean people can now fish even in remote areas of the world—no place is ‘safe’ for fish.

Too many anglers are greedy. They take more fish than they can possibly use. These often end up just being wasted. They take males and females so that few fish are left to breed, and the numbers fall even futher.

Fishing is a blood sport. This means that an animal must die so that a human can have ‘fun’. (This applies more to sportsfishing than to fishing for food; at least if a fish is eaten, there is some purpose to it being caught.) Once hooked, fish have little or no chance of escape.

Whatever side you are on—for or against—fishing is an activity that will come under much closer examination in the future.

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