Letter: Cruelty to fish

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The Independent Online
THE CAMPAIGN against angling deserves to fail ("Activists to bait Britain's anglers", 22 August) for it is solipsistic nonsense. Anglers foster a clean and friendly environment for fish which is in the interests of wildlife and everyone. The pain and distress caused to fish being taken and then returned to the water - frequently on barbless hooks and held temporarily in keepnets of knotless mesh - must be a joke on any scale of animal suffering from human interference. Look at the final hours of agony of any fish in the cod end of a trawl, the near extinction of mackerel and the scarcity of herring around these islands due to "industrial fishing" (a euphemism for fertiliser) and one begins to feel a real crime against the environment is being perpetrated.

In the West of Ireland the traditional method of potting for crabs has now been largely abandoned as too labour intensive. The crab bodies have no commercial value compared with the claws, so these are ripped off for the culinary trade and the living bodies dumped. What sort of people are we that allow that sort of cruelty, but turn on anglers, who for the most part respect their quarry and the balance of the environment that supports it? I am neither an angler nor hunter myself.


Killiney, Co Dublin