Do Fish Feel Pain?

ricinusricinus Senior MemberPosts: 6,214 Senior Member

Replies

  • Brian D.Brian D. Senior Member Posts: 4,011 Senior Member
    I am skeptical. It doesn't seem like it would take a very sophisticated neural mechanism to generate a pain response, and it would certainly have evolutionary value.

    It doesn't matter though, because I'll still fish even if they feel pain. It's a fish. Deer feel pain, I'm pretty sure, but I still hunt. There are some perks that go along with living on the top of the food chain.

    Sent from my SPH-M580 using Tapatalk 2
  • ricinusricinus Senior Member Posts: 6,214 Senior Member
    I think fish could feel pain physically, but don't have the brain power to process that sensation the way animals with a higher developed neural system do..

    Mike
    My new goal in life is to become an Alter Kaker...
  • SilverCreekSilverCreek Senior Member Posts: 119 Senior Member
    Here is the original article that demonstrates that fish do not feel pain:

    http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/pubs/Fishwelfare/Rose.pdf

    The human conception of pain and it's application to fish is anthropomorphism, the application of human emotion to a fish, which is a cold blooded animal.

    Pain is NOT a sensation. It is an interpretation of a sensation.

    Certainly the fish "feels" something but it is not pain; because pain is not felt in the mouth with a hook, but in the brain, specifically the neocortex. Fish do not have a neocortex and therefore cannot "feel" pain as humans feel pain.

    We could ask ourselves how a human would act if we had a hook implanted in our jaw. Would we act like a fish or would we act as a human? Would we pull against the hook, jumping and jerking increasing the "pain", or would we swim toward the rod to release the pull of the hook?

    http://www.spiked-online.com/articles/00000006DD91.htm
  • FlykuniFlykuni Senior Member Posts: 799 Senior Member
    They have to feel pain, or they never would have evolved to 2013.

    Ancestors would have flopped on shore a bazillion years ago and went extinct. Joking to make a point, but in the world of nature, a violent, unfriendly, predator-filled one at that for a tasty salmonid, or proto-salmonid, you must survive. Pain, a hurtful reaction to negative cond's, assists survival.

    Hv never eaten live sashimi pieces sliced off living fish fished out of a tank in Tokyo, don't think I ever will. Imagine those creatures are feeling something and it isn't pleasant.
  • SilverCreekSilverCreek Senior Member Posts: 119 Senior Member
    Single cell organisms like amoeba retract from noxious stimuli, so do they feel pain? Survival is not a criteria for the presence or absence of pain.
  • FlykuniFlykuni Senior Member Posts: 799 Senior Member
    An amoeba is way below a fish. How many salmon evolved swimming up lava flows?
  • swiperswiper Senior Member Posts: 395 Senior Member
    Proof that scientists aren't always right.
  • SilverCreekSilverCreek Senior Member Posts: 119 Senior Member
    Flykuni wrote: »
    An amoeba is way below a fish.

    Exactly. An amoeba avoids noxious stimuli. An amoeba does not feel pain. Ergo, pain is not necessary to precursor to avoidance.

    Since avoidance developed before pain, avoidance does not indicate pain. QED
  • outdoorsmanoutdoorsman Member Posts: 85 Member
    Pain is NOT a sensation. It is an interpretation of a sensation.

    This is an interesting concept. I've heard the argument that fish feel pain, but that it isn't interpreted in the same way as we (or probably many mammals) would interpret pain. I guess this would be generally correct, except the fact that pain is not a sensation. So then the previous statement that I have felt to hold true would go: "Fish feel a sensation, but do not interpret it in the same way as we interpret a similar sensation".
  • SilverCreekSilverCreek Senior Member Posts: 119 Senior Member
    This is an interesting concept. I've heard the argument that fish feel pain, but that it isn't interpreted in the same way as we (or probably many mammals) would interpret pain. I guess this would be generally correct, except the fact that pain is not a sensation. So then the previous statement that I have felt to hold true would go: "Fish feel a sensation, but do not interpret it in the same way as we interpret a similar sensation".

    Absolutely correct.

    "(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."

    http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/pubs/Fishwelfare/Rose.pdf


    "The authors’ definitions of pain and nociception are invalid, consequently this paper does not actually deal with pain (a conscious experience), it deals only with nociception (unconscious responses to noxious stimuli). Pain, as defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain is purely a conscious experience, with a sensory component and a component of emotional feeling (suffering). In contrast to this conscious experience of pain, the unconscious detection, transmission and response to noxious stimulation by lower levels of the nervous system is and defined as nociception - not pain.

    2. In order to show that a fish experiences pain, it is necessary to show that a fish has consciousness. Without consciousness, there is no pain.

    I wish to emphasize that the improbability that fish can experience pain in no way diminishes our responsibility for concern about their welfare. Fish are capable of robust, unconscious, behavioral, physiological and hormonal responses to stressors, which if sufficiently intense or
    sustained, can be detrimental to their health."


    http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/pubs/Fishwelfare/RoseC.pdf
  • outdoorsmanoutdoorsman Member Posts: 85 Member
    Of course, the above excerpts are primarily based on what we as human beings have determined to be "consciousness". But what can we really ever know about the "consciousness" of organisms other than ourselves? For all we really know, consciousness of any other organism could be something that is far beyond our own comprehension or ability to explain it.
  • SilverCreekSilverCreek Senior Member Posts: 119 Senior Member
    That is a totally different discussion that whether fish feel "pain". Pain depends upon the parts of the human brain that a fish does not have. They are cold blooded animals. They also lack portions of an autonomic nervous system that controls body temperature in humans, and so it should come as no surprise that they lack other higher neurologic functions as well.

    Now on to your point. There are multiple errors in your statement that invalidate it.

    You said, "For all we really know, consciousness of any other organism could be something that is far beyond our own comprehension or ability to explain it." That is pure speculation without any scientific proof. First you have to prove that fish have a consciousness, before you can speculate that we cannot understand it. Your statement is a circular argument that is self referencing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circular_reasoning

    Secondly, we are beginning to study where consciousness and self awareness resides in the human brain. Positron Emission Tomography and Functional MRI scanning are beginning to map out areas of the human brain that are activate or are activated during specific types of brian function.

    New advances in micro-neuroanotomy allow us to examine the neuroanatomy/neurophysiology at the cell level without slicing the brain into thin sections. This will allow us to study the brain as a whole. "Clarity" was developed by Karl Deisseroth, MD. It shows great promise in studying neuroanatomy and neurophysiology by making entire brains transparent and then labeling the neurons with markers.

    http://gu.com/p/3f37d

    We are not there yet, but that is a different that saying we will never get there.

    Thirdly, those areas of the brain that are activated by humans do not exist in the fish.

    Finally, like pain, consciousness (self-awareness) does not exit in the fish. Therefore your statement, "For all we really know, consciousness of any other organism could be something that is far beyond our own comprehension or ability to explain it", cannot apply to a fish.

    Can you see that, by your statement, you have implied that "consciousness" could exist in a fish, when in fact, it cannot? Since no similar function has been found in fish, you have used the term "consciousness" incorrectly in your supposition.
  • outdoorsmanoutdoorsman Member Posts: 85 Member
    First you have to prove that fish have a consciousness, before you can speculate that we cannot understand it.

    Actually, you are incorrect. I don't have to prove anything. In science, a null hypothesis can be disproved, but not proved. Consciousness might not exist in fish right now as we have defined it, but that does not mean that the definition won't change or that it can't exist in fish (some day, the hypothesis may be disproved and another scientist will apply for another grant).
  • FlykuniFlykuni Senior Member Posts: 799 Senior Member
    Salmonoids migrate upriver, not up lava flows.

    May not be science but we couldn't enjoy catching (and releasing) them today had they not evolved to feel Oh my, wrong channel here.
  • creekguycreekguy Senior Member Posts: 3,905 Senior Member
    While obviously a fish does not feel pain as experienced by mammals, there is no way of knowing if all they have when hooked is just an automatic escape response. Ever try or see someone try to pull a deeply hooked worm hook out of a fishes stomach? it gives me pain to watch. I would simply say that fishers have no justification to ASSUME that fish feel nothing like pain. It may be convenient, but its not right.
    Remember C&R serves the fish by training it to avoid being caught by those who would kill and eat it.
  • creekguy wrote: »
    While obviously a fish does not feel pain as experienced by mammals, there is no way of knowing if all they have when hooked is just an automatic escape response. Ever try or see someone try to pull a deeply hooked worm hook out of a fishes stomach? it gives me pain to watch. I would simply say that fishers have no justification to ASSUME that fish feel nothing like pain. It may be convenient, but its not right.
    Remember C&R serves the fish by training it to avoid being caught by those who would kill and eat it.

    I have some trouble with this...
    I would think the lack of a neocortex highly suggests that fish feel nothing like pain and provides a very good justification to make that assumption.
    I also kind of doubt that C&R trains a fish with the brain the size of a pea. How many times have we all caught a trout with a fly in its mouth? How much "pain" coult it be actually causing?
    Ever fish a salmon run in the middle of a major city. It's pitiful to see, but right there are salmon festooned with flies and hooks like a Christmas tree and they keep on going right about their business.
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 9,651 Senior Member
    Guys, I got bit by a mudfish (bowfin) once and it really hurt. Made my thumb bleed pretty good.

    They can certainly cause pain.
  • mkssngrmkssngr Posts: 1 Junior Member

    I use to think about this sometimes. Then one day I hooked myself in the lip! Took my hemostats, lifted the hook out and then went about the rest of my enjoyable day ( always go barbless lol ). If the hook didn't hurt in my lip I can't see it hurting too much in the boney lip of a trout. Now I don't think about it so much.

  • FishtyzFishtyz Posts: 9 Junior Member

    I believe they do not feel pain but they feel threatened. They can even inflict pain especially if you go fishing and you got wounded during the process.

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