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"Fly fishing isn't just a sport - it's a state of mind!!"

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March 19, 2010

Does fish feel pain?

Does fish feel pain?

Does it hurt when a fish bite on a fishing hook? 
What does science tell us about this subject?
For years fishermen and biologists have discused if fish does feel any pain.
It has been common knowlage for a long time that cartilage fish, like Sharks, probably don’t feel anything, because they are not equiped with any receptores, which can detect pain. And it has also long held the belief, that the most common teleosts are not capable of feeling anything either. But British scientists have recently presented research suggesting that teleosts actually do feel pain.The scientists studied a group trout’s and found 58 receptors on their heads, all of which responded to painful stimuli as heat, poison and strokes. The fish reacted therefore strongly when they had poison from a bi and acetic acid sprayed into their lips.The trout’s heart rate increased by up to 30 percent, and it took twice as long time for them to start eating again, compared with the fish that just were injected with plain saltwater.The poisoned fish also began to behave abnormally: They were performing rocking movements and constantly trying to rub their lips against the aquarium. However this interpretation is rejected by large parts of the fishing industry. They have pointed out that fish do not have enough brain capacity to feel any pain. But I would be surprised it they said anything else :O)
Source to this article: The Illustrated Science Magazine : http://illvid.dk/spoerg-os/foeler-fisk-smerte
(PS. in Danish)

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