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Entries in anti-fishing (178)

Thursday
Jun162016

Catch and Release is 'Cruel'; Yet Another Anti-Fishing Strategy

 

Here is something that you didn’t know: You are a hypocrite if you practice catch and release.

That’s right. If you care enough to turn a fish loose after you catch it, then you should be smart enough to realize that you shouldn’t catch it in the first place.

Don’t laugh. That’s a strategy by animal rights activists in this country to kill recreational fishing. Twice now it’s been used in comments at my Activist Angler website. The latest was in response to a post of mine that ridiculed PETA for distorting facts to support its anti-fishing ideology.

(Go here to see what PETA is saying.)

I was accused of being so steeped in a “pro-fishing, pro-industry dogma” that I have lost perspective. “Attempting to demonize people who are concerned about the ethics of sport fishing is a clear act of bigotry,” said commenter Rob Russell.

“Any thoughtful angler will reach a point where he or she desires to lessen their impacts on fish. When you engage in premeditated C&R, when your only goal is ‘sport’ (gratification), how do you rationalize putting a fish’s life at risk?

“If you are not concerned about this, then you have some thinking to do.”

Well, Rob, I have been thinking about it, and I am concerned. And if you fish, you should be concerned too. As irrational as this ploy seems, it already has worked in Europe.

The Swiss Animal Welfare Act of 2008 makes catch-and-release illegal because “it is in conflict with the dignity of the fish and its presumed ability to suffer and feel pain.” A similar rule has been in place since the 1980s in Germany, where anglers also must take a course in fish handling before they can obtain a license.

“The argument runs (in Germany) that it is legally acceptable to go fishing only if one has the intention to catch fish for food,” say the authors of a disturbing study, “A Primer on Anti-Angling Philosophy and Its Relevance for Recreational Fisheries in Urbanized Societies.”

In other words, you can have fun catching fish in Germany, but don’t tell anyone--- and you must keep the fish. Tournament fishing is not allowed and economic benefits are not a sufficient justification for fishing.

 “It all boils down to the individual benefits experienced by the angler, and here food provision is currently the only acceptable reason,” the authors add.

Think that can’t happen here, a country of nearly 40 million licensed anglers? Think again, and don’t be misled by the fact that 9 out of 10 Americans approve of legal fishing and support using fish for food.

The authors of that study discovered that when people are asked whether they approve of recreational fishing for sport, answers change dramatically. Twenty-five to 30 percent view angling for sport as cruel in more urbanized states such as Colorado and Arizona, while about 20 percent feel the same way in more rural states, including Alaska and the Dakotas.

And then there are the useful idiots. They fish but are so narrow-minded that they support anti-fishing activists in this campaign.

The second commenter at my website said this: “Sport fishing for catch-and-release should be outlawed! We are working to keep fish for real fishermen who enjoy the taste and food. We need to keep these so called ‘sport fishermen’ out of Minnesota lakes!”

How do we combat this strategy? We don’t engage in the false argument that catch-and-release is just one step on the road to enlightenment and that, if we really care, we must stop fishing for sport. That’s like trying to answer the question “Do you still beat your wife?” and not sound guilty. An attempt to answer either instantly puts the responder on the defensive.

The reality is that catch-and-release is a conservation practice, not an action prompted by concern for the welfare of an individual fish. Since B.A.S.S. founder Ray Scott popularized the practice during tournaments in the 1970s, it has been embraced by anglers worldwide as a way to sustain fisheries. And it’s working. For example, Florida anglers keep less than 10 percent of the bass that they catch, with the vast majority released so that they can continue to reproduce, as well as be caught again.

And let’s not forget the value that we derive from catching and releasing those fish.  Yes, fish as food nourishes the body, but fishing for fun nourishes the spirit. During this chaotic and angry time in our nation’s history, nothing is more important.  

Friday
Jun102016

PC Insanity Infects Management of Fish, Wildlife; Our Outdoor Heritage at Risk

As it has with every other aspect of society, Political Correctness insanity brought to us by the Democratic Left has infected natural resources management. As a consequence,  fish and wildlife now are becoming tools to use for political gain instead of being managing for public good.

In the West, Washington and Oregon wildlife agencies have bowed to pressure from the feds and special interest groups, removing creel limits on bass in several rivers and likely destroying world-class fisheries in the process.

The argument is that these fish contribute to the continued demise of native salmon/steelhead/trout fisheries. In fact, evidence is scant. The real reasons are loss of habitat and alteration of their cold-water environment to one that more favors  bass, catfish, and walleye.

And bass, even though legally introduced more than a century ago by the feds and/or with government approval, are "nonnative."

For today's PC crowd, nothing makes these fish more offensive and in need of elimination. Never mind the hypocrisy that illegal immigrants are a protected class by these same people.

In Florida, meanwhile, compassionate PC's are readying their torches and pitchforks to go after the state if it should dare to have a second hunt to protect people, pets, and property from an out-of-control bear population.

My vote for the most idiotic PC insanity to date, however, goes to Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, who wants to spend millions of dollars in public funds to perform vasectomies on bucks to control a deer population that has exploded from 24 in 2008 to nearly 1,000 today. Just last year, a deer broke through a strip-mall window and bled to death inside. Others have gored pets and bolted into traffic, colliding with city buses, police cars and private vehicles.

Wildlife biologists say the plan won't work. De Blasio insists that he knows better than the scientists. And, yes, there's hypocrisy here too. Remember "manmade climate change," one of the basic tenets of Leftist ideology?  The true believers insist that "the science is settled" and "97 percent of scientists agree" regarding the cause of climate change.

Of course, neither is true. But the point is the PC crazies will use science when it meets their needs and ignore it when it doesn't. (They also intentionally attempt to confuse the issue, making it appear as if their opponents deny climate change is occurring, when that is not the case at all. The argument is over whether manmade activities are contributing, and, if so, how much.)

Here is what  wildlife biologist Dr. Paul Curtis of Cornell University told The New York Post about de Blasio's plan:“This proposal has no chance of success whatsoever.”

First, if the local bucks are shooting blanks, does would keep going into heat all through fall and winter, right on up to early spring. That would attract still-potent males from many miles around, with some possibly even crossing the Delaware from New Jersey to get some action.

But “it won’t even get to that point,” Curtis said, “because I think it would be extremely difficult to get even 50 percent of the bucks” in order to sterilize them. Even a few intact bucks can keep the herd growing exponentially.

Also, the Post added, "Snipped bucks would be sterile but still have a strong sex drive. So during an extended rutting season, there would be more perilous encounters with humans as the mad-with-lust bucks heedlessly run around looking for mates."

Read more about the insanity here.

Of course, the logical solution is to bring in expert archers to cull the population. Backyard Bow Pro in North Carolina provides such services, with the venison donated to local food pantries.

But logic has no place where animal rights activists are concerned, and they are firmly entrenched in the big cities. In 14 of them, they recently  celebrated National Animal Rights Day.

These are the people who want to stop us from fishing and hunting. Their tactics and campaigns aren't always aimed directly at our outdoor heritage, but that's where they are leading. Their ultimate goal is to stop use of animals entirely, including for medical research, food, and even as pets.

They aren't yet going after hunting and fishing with a national campaign. But they're trying their best to shut them down, a little at a time, in the states. In Maine they tried, and failed, to stop a bear hunt. Now they're focused on Florida.

That's why it's so important for states to follow the lead of Texas, and guarantee the right to fish and hunt in their constitutions.  Nineteen of them now have done so, 18 since 1996.

In November, citizens of Indiana and Kansas will vote on amendments to protect the right to fish and hunt, while a North Carolina proposal still must be approved by the state senate before it becomes a ballot initiative.

Meanwhile in New York City, de Blasio said that performing vasectomies on male deer is the preferred option because it is easy to perform.

"That's absolutely false," said biologist Curtis, who has done buck vasectomies. "They do not respond well to immobilization drugs. It is far more stressful on the animals.

But facts and logic mean little to de Blasio and true believers whose dream is to give legal rights to animals as part of their PC paradise.

And that includes making fishing and hunting illegal.

Sunday
May152016

Kids First Cast Helps Grow Fishing and Enrich Lives; You Should Too

"At a young age, I was fortunate to have grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts and friends who have shared their passion of fishing with me.  Through the years, this passion for fishing would sustain me through the good and the bad times. It became my “lifeline."  This lifeline brought me experiences that helped give me knowledge, happiness, physical and mental health. But best of all, it allowed me to always learn more about myself."

When I read those words by Diane Aspiazu, president of Kids First Cast, Inc., I knew that we were kindred spirits. Of course, we are not alone. Many of us who fish know this, and that intangible value is what prompted me to write Why We Fish.

But not everyone is doing what Diane and other volunteers up in Idaho are doing to "pass it on," and that is why I encourage you to learn more about this great organization, contribute to it, and think about starting a similar organization in your area.

Recreational fishing is under siege as never before and, if we are to turn the tide we much show those who don't fish--- especially children---- how it can enrich their lives in ways that they can't even imagine until they give it a try and get hooked.

Here's what Kids First Cast, Inc. is doing in 2016:

  • Assisting Idaho Fish and Game with the “Take Me Fishing” trailer schedule by doing 26 fishing outings from April through June.
  • Annual field trip with Sawtooth Middle School to teach 350 kids about the basics of casting and tying fishing knots.
  • Week of the Young Child, teaching 300 kids about casting.
  • Annual VFW Fishing Derby, helping disabled veterans fish for a day.
  • Annual Babe Ruth Jamboree, host casting pools for baseball teams.
  • Annual Scales of Justice Tournament for troubled youth.                                               
  • Annual Conservation Day Clinic.
  • Canyon Military Kids Fishing Derby.
  • VFW Kids Fishing Derby.
  • Wish to Fish Christmas Program. providing Christmas with a “fishing flair” for kids economically challenged.
  • Annual Canyon County Night Light Parade.

Here is the organization's mission statement

Build and sustain healthy communities by providing education, conservation, and outdoor recreation in a safe and inviting environment for kids and their families while enjoying the sport of fishing.

Sunday
May082016

Go Fishing, Go to Jail Part 2

For those of you who don't think that sport fishing ever will be banned or even restricted in the Canada and the United States, may I suggest a couple of things?

  •  Plug "animal rights" into a Google Search a couple of times a week to see what the enemy is doing. Yes, the animal rights  (not to be confused with animal welfare) folks pose the primary threat, and  they are an integral part of the powerful PC movement and all the idiocy that comes with it.
  • Second, acquaint yourself with the facts. I'll help you with that. But many of you won't bother to read all of this. Instead, you will shrug it off as an irrational fear and/or insult me as has happened with a previous post about the threat to recreational fishing posed by a bill introduced into Canada's Parliament (C-246):

1. Although 90 percent of Americans approve of legal fishing and support using fish for food, 25 to 30 percent of  people in urbanized states think that angling for sport is cruel. In less urbanized states, the percentage is still about 20 percent.

"The results suggest that in the United States, levels of anti-angling sentiment are consistent with those reported in other post-industrialized countries such as Germany, where stringent regulations on recreational fishing have already been put in place," say the authors of a study, "A Primer on Anti-Angling Philosophy and Its Relevance for Recreational Fisheries in Urbanized Societies," which was published in Fisheries, a scientific journal.

2.  In a 2008 survey in Germany, 57 percent thought use of live baitfish is immoral and 65 percent thought the same about "non-harvest-oriented competitive fishing events." Forty percent thought that catch and release is unethical.

Additionally, 35 percent agreed with statements that "fish are suffering unnecessarily due to recreational anglers" and "catching and releasing fish during recreational fishing constitutes unnecessary cruelty to animals."

"Finally, about a quarter (26 percent) thought that there is a pressing need to improve issues of animal welfare in Germany, despite recreational fishing being already heavily constrained and regulated for animal welfare reasons."

3. In Austria, about 20 percent thought that recreational fishing "disturbs the ecological balance and that recreational anglers do no care enough about nature and are only interested in an abundant fish harvest."

4. In Switzerland, the Animal Welfare Act makes the intention of voluntary catch-and-release fishing an offense because it is in conflict with the dignity of the fish and its presumed ability to suffer and to feel pain.

"A similar ruling had already been in force in Germany since the 1980s, in which, based on a combination of arguments related to inherent value and fishing practices thought to induce pain and suffering, activities such as voluntary catch and release, use of live baitfish, use of keep nets, and tournament fishing were partly, implicitly, or explicitly  banned.

"Similarly, put-and-immediate-take fishing is found unacceptable because the only justified reason for going fishing is to capture fish as food . . .

"Wider economic benefits created by angling are usually not considered a sufficient justification—it all boils down to the individual benefits experienced by the angler, and here food provision is currently the only acceptable reason."

In conclusion, the study's authors make this frightening appraisal:

In Germany an angler needs a “reasonable reason” to be allowed to fish recreationally and thereby intentionally inflict pain and suffering on the supposedly sentient fish. Currently, the legally accepted reasonable cause is personal fish consumption, and anglers must have the intention to harvest before casting.

"One might be inclined to say, 'It is never going to happen here,' which might have been what the Swiss angling community thought before voluntary catch and release was banned by law in 2008.

"It may only need a willing and able public prosecutor and some judges with anti-angling sentiments to further the case by asking, 'Is recreational fishing reasonable, irrespective of the intention of the angler?'

"Obviously, this development was probably facilitated by poor political support in the recreational fisheries sector, but it also exemplifies how a particular social climate that is concerned with the (suffering-defined) welfare of fish targeted by recreational anglers can have immediate implications for fisheries practice, including constraints on the set of tools available to fisheries managers for managing and conserving wild fish populations."

Wednesday
Mar092016

Animal Rights Activists Say 'Deer Lives Matter' and Push for Criminalizing Fishing

More insanity by animal rights activists, this time in Michigan. Cull of herd was necessary for benefit of both humans and deer. But here's their response:

"Let's pray for peace and work for change."

"Deer lives matter, and all lives matter."

"We are all one in spirit."

"When we kill the deer, we kill ourselves."

Most of these people are just useful idiots, but this growing movement is all about giving legal rights to animals, which inevitably will lead to bans on hunting and fishing. This is the direct result of more and more people living in urban areas, with no direct contact with nature and no clue about habitats and ecological balance.

Meanwhile in Canada, a bill has been introduced that could make catching and keeping a couple of fish for dinner a crime. Here's what Keep Canada Fishing says:

"Provisions in Bill C-246 clearly make it possible for someone who catches a fish to face criminal prosecution for cruelty to animals. Even the act of baiting a hook with a worm would be considered an act of cruelty according to the bill."