While there has been increasing interest in recent years in the welfare of farm animals, fish are frequently thought to be different. In many people's perception, fish, with their lack of facial expressions or recognisable communication, are not seen to count when it comes to welfare. Angling is a major sport, and fishing a big industry.
Millions of fish are caught on barbed hooks, or left to die by suffocation on the decks of fishing boats. Here, biologist Victoria Braithwaite explores the question of fish pain and fish suffering, explaining what we now understand about fish behaviour, and examining the related ethical questions about how we should treat these animals.
She asks why the question of pain in fish has not been raised earlier, indicating our prejudices and assumptions; and argues that the latest and growing scientific evidence would suggest that we should widen to fish the protection currently given to birds and mammals.
About the Author
Victoria Braithwaite is Professor of Fisheries and Biology at Penn State University, USA, and a Visiting Professor of Biology, University of Bergen, Norway. She graduated from the University of Oxford with a PhD in animal behaviour and, working first at the University of Glasgow and then at the University of Edinburgh, she developed a research programme investigating fish cognition and behaviour. She has published on a broad range of topics using many different fish species, but in 2003 her group was among the first to publish work investigating pain perception in trout. In 2006 she was awarded the Fisheries Society of the British Isles Medal in recognition of her contribution to fish biology.
An accessible and compelling account...her book will make an important contribution to the debate. Anne Magurran, Times Literary Supplement 'Do Fish Feel Pain?' is a fascinating excursion through the recent studies of the surprisingly complex behaviour of fish. Clive Wynne, Nature A timely, important and interesting book. Sanjida O'Connell, New Scientist
Number Of Pages: 194
Published: 25th March 2010
Dimensions (cm): 22.4 x 14.7 x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.374