Do fish feel pain?
After having fished thousands of hours and having caught tons of fish I would like you to read the following study of PhD Rose. This scientific paper is by sure the best independent study that has ever been available. It looks at a fish from the basics and especially the brain structure. The brain tells you wheter pain is felt as pain or not. From my personal opinion I am pretty sure that fish do not care too much about the hook in their mouth but of course you should not fight them too long. Have a look at tDr. Roses's approach and find out what he thinks about the awareness of stress or pain of fish.
The Neurobehavioral Nature of Fishes and the Question of Awareness and Pain
James D. Rose
Department of Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071
Running head: NEUROBEHAVIORAL NATURE OF FISHES
Send correspondence to:
Dr. James D. Rose
Department of Zoology and Physiology
University of Wyoming
Laramie, WY 82071
This review examines the neurobehavioral nature of fishes and addresses the question of whether fishes are capable of experiencing pain and suffering. The detrimental effects of anthropomorphic thinking and the importance of an evolutionary perspective for understanding the neurobehavioral differences between fishes and humans are discussed. The differences in central nervous system structure that underlie basic neurobehavioral differences between fishes and humans are described. The literature on the neural basis of consciousness and of pain is reviewed, showing that: (1) behavioral responses to noxious stimuli are separate from the psychological experience of pain, (2) awareness of pain in humans depends on functions of specific regions of cerebral cortex, and (3) fishes lack these essential brain regions or any functional equivalent, making it untenable that they can experience pain. Because the experience of fear, similar to pain, depends on cerebral cortical structures that are absent from fish brains, it is concluded that awareness of fear is impossible for fishes. Although it is implausible that fishes can experience pain or emotions, they display robust, non-conscious, neuroendocrine and physiological stress responses to noxious stimuli. Thus, avoidance of potentially injurious stress responses is an important issue in considerations about the welfare of fishes.
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