The Ethics of Sport fishing

Courtney Owen


Fishing has been utilized since the beginning of mankind.  Fish provided food and nutrition, and thus were essential for survival.  In the same way that spear fishing has evolved into such technological advances as motorized reels, the purpose of fishing has also changed.  Although there are many people that make a living off of fishing, the majority of the people who fish do so for the sheer enjoyment of the experience.  Because the fish is generally not used for food, sport fishing has become a topic of ethical concern and controversy.  There are standards of conduct that fishermen are required to follow.  This site provides links that examine these ethical codes and describe the sport of fishing.  In addition, there are links that defend the rights of fishermen and links that question the rights of fishermen.

 International Game Fish Association -This web page describes the rules of game fishing, tournaments, membership, and upcoming events in the sport fishing world.

 Sport fishing -This site describes environmental rules and ethics in fishing.  Examples of these rules are no littering in the water and returning the fish in such a manner as to maximize its chance in survival.

 Sources on environmental ethics - This site provides many articles on environmental ethical issues, and provides a background for ethics in fishing.

 Ione's Page-Ethics and Animals -This site provides information and links concerning animal related ethics.  Fishing and hunting are included in the discussion of animal rights.

 The Fishing Network -This site emphasizes the importance of ethical fishing.  It describes the Report a Poacher Program which works with Crime Stoppers to crack down on poachers and unethical fishing.

 Code of Analyzing Ethics Adopted by the National Marine Fisheries Service -This site explains the new code that the federal agency in charge of saltwater species has adapted.  This code promotes ethical fishing behaviors by anglers.

 Was it Sporting or Fish Molestation? -This site describes the story of Larry Dalhberg, the host of an ESPN fishing show, who was accused of fish molestation.  He caught a big fish, but the cameras were not successful in filming it.  He threw the fish back in the water and reeled it in again in front of the cameras.  Many people viewed this as unethical.

 Ugly Business of Fishing -This site describes negative aspects of fishing.

  Catch and Released-Flyfishing -This site questions the ethics of flyfishing.  Many people believe that the catch and release of a fish is humane.  However, this site emphasizes the torture that the fish goes through during the process of hook, reel, and unhook.

 Bass Fishing Articles -This site describes the benefits of fishing.

 Benefits of Fishing Go Beyond the Big Catches -This site also decribes the benefits of fishing such as a source of stress relief and enjoyment.

 Project F.I.S.H.  This site stands for Friends Involved in Sport fishing Heritage.  This site and project were designed to preserve a natural heritage that ensures the future of fishing.