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Catch and Release: Is it allowed to catch and release fish?

Catch and Release - Are you allowed to catch and release fish?

Would you like to find out more about catch and release and whether it is permitted to catch fish and then release them back into the water? Then you've come to the right place! Fishing is a passionate hobby for countless people, but it is also deadly for the animals. With catch and release, the fish is at least released - but this fishing method also raises ethical questions.

In this article, I'd like to give you everything you need to know about catch and release - from the definition, the ban and cruelty to animals, to the penalties that anglers can expect. Let's go!

You can find a brief overview here in advance:

  1. Definition
  2. Ban
  3. Cruelty to animals
  4. Penalty
  5. Closing words

Definition: What is catch and release in fishing?

A pair of anglers releases a fish they caught

In angling, catch and release is generally understood to mean the Catch and release fishes. The fish caught is first taken out of the water and measured, weighed and photographed, for example - and then put back in.

While fishing originally had the sole purpose of providing food, for many people it is nowadays a Popular leisure and sports activitywhere the focus is on fun.

Catch and release is therefore also referred to as fun fishing and means that you fish with the aim of taking a photo with the fish you have caught and then releasing it. In such a case, fishing then serves mainly for the entertainment and amusement of anglers:inside.

Tip: Can you Love animals but still eat them? In the linked blog article I have dealt with exactly this question. Feel free to have a look there as well!

Prohibition: What law prohibits the catch and release of fish?

The deliberate catching and releasing of fish for personal amusement is prohibited in Germany.

The Section 17 of the Animal Welfare Act states stipulates that no one may inflict prolonged or repeated pain or suffering on a vertebrate animal - and that those who kill a vertebrate animal without reasonable cause.

The intentions to eat the animal or to practice water conservation would be "reasonable" reasons according to the current legal situation - but angling for fun would not. Catch and release is therefore a clear violation of the Animal Welfare Act - and is only permitted if a particular fish is below the minimum size or was caught during the closed season.

How do other countries handle this? The legal situation regarding catch and release is similar in Norway, but it is permitted in countries such as France and the USA.

Reasons: Why is catch and release cruelty to animals and illegal?

Why is catch and release animal cruelty?

Catch fish and release them again sounds quite animal-friendly at first - at least more animal-friendly than slitting them open and killing them. However, catch and release is mainly for personal amusement (e.g. the joy of being caught, as well as photographing and sharing the pictures on social media) and is therefore completely unnecessary. Furthermore anglers cannot guarantee that the fish will survive.

Catch and release is not only due to the lack of necessity, but also for the following reasons Cruelty to animals and prohibited:

  • Pain sensation: The Study situation is clear - fish have a complex nervous system, so they are sentient beings and, like us humans, can suffer pain. They have a right to protection and integrity and as they have no voice, we must preserve this right for them.
  • Pure torture: Fish are speared and torn from their habitat. This causes great stress, which is further exacerbated by the difference in temperature between the water and air, the twisting and squirming on the hook and the animals' shortness of breath.
  • Another catch possible: It is more common for fish to experience these ordeals more than once. This can be recognized by the scars on the animals' bodies.
  • Low chance of survival: Traumatized or injured fish become easier prey for predators. In addition, touching the fish can lead to subsequent infections or fungal growth and thus to gradual death. Studies show that around 40 percent of the fish released die as a result of catch and release.

Penalty: What penalties can anglers expect for catch and release?

Now you know why catch and release is considered a criminal offense in Germany. Anyone who secretly catches fish for fun and then releases them back into the water is therefore committing a criminal offense.

But what exactly is the penalty for unlawful catch and release? Prosecutions are difficult, as both the catch and the release must be documented - but anyone caught doing so must be punished with a fine under the Animal Welfare Act. imprisonment for a term of up to three years or with a fine calculate.

Catch and release is cruelty to animals and not a hobby

To believe that fish are worth less than other animals is Speciesism. They are sentient beings like you and me - and are not for our entertainment. However, Catch and Release is aimed at personal entertainment and is therefore cruelty to animals for good reasons and not a passionate hobby.

"Animal protection is education to humanity."

Albert Schweitzer

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to give you some further blog posts that may also be of interest to you:

Do you have any questions, tips or your own experiences with fishing and releasing fish that you would like to share? Then I look forward to your comment.

Stay animal-friendly,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: In the next Blgo article you will now find out My personal reasons for going vegan. I am sure you will represent many of them as well.

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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