Science debunks myth of fish pain
The science is in - fish don't feel pain. Anglers resume your pastime. Animal-rights activists retract the propaganda. Reversing the previous popular view that fish do feel pain, a team of seven scientists conducted extensive research to determine if the nociceptor responsible for pain in humans does they same thing in fish. The first discovery was that there were very few nociceptors in fish mouths. But it was also found that the fish brain does not contain the highly developed neocortex needed to feel pain in the first place. Read the article here Science Debunks Myth of Fish Pain
The conclusion reached by Professor James Rose from the University of Wyoming in the US, and published in the journal Fish and Fisheries, was that fish did not experience conscious feelings or pain when hooked. Rather, fish demonstrate an unconscious reaction to being hooked. The new research also referred to another study that showed fish that were caught with a hook and then released resumed feeding and normal activity immediately or within minutes. Certainly, I'll never forget the small wrasse I caught at The Spit, which was hooked deep, inverted part of its stomach, but was feeding in my saltwater tank that same day. So the whole fish-feel-pain issue has reached its conclusion. That is not to say fish welfare doesn't matter, but the findings do support the view that angling isn't a cruel practice.