You might have heard about the catch and release policy if you’ve been fishing for quite a while. If you still have any question regarding this technique, we’re here to shed light on the theory so that you’re able to understand it better and decide if it’s the right thing to do for what you have in mind.
First of all, it should be emphasized that the catch and release policy is highly recommended for preserving the population of endangered fish. Let’s take this example – say you’ve gone fishing for bass but you accidentally catch another species, one that you know it’s on the list of the ones that are about to disappear from the local ecosystem. Do you keep it or release it back in the water? The ethical thing to do would be to release the fish because this is the only way you will contribute to saving populations that might sooner or later become extinct.
However, this theory does not apply in the case of invasive species, some of which are well-known for the negative impact they can have on local ecosystems. Common invasive fish include carp, Nile perch, lionfish, and believe it or not, bass.
While PETA argues that the catch and release policy goes against the system and doesn’t do all that much for taking care of the environment, there are several simple measures that you can take so that you’re able to release the fish efficiently and avoid damaging it. Any fish can become exhausted after putting up a fight, so if you notice that the fish is tired, we recommend changing the tackle so that you’re able to catch your target faster. Also, it might be a good idea to utilize circle hooks, particularly if what you’re doing is fish with live bait. If you always want to catch a type of fish to bring back home with you and cook, try to become an expert by using the right equipment and by perfecting your technique so that the chance of getting a different fish species drops significantly.
Handle the fish as gently as possible and be sure to keep your hands wet so that you don’t remove the slime that you might find on the surface of the skin, gills and other body parts. On the same note, try to avoid touching the eyes and gills and if possible, rely on utilizing a special release tool such as a dehooker. Finally, one of the most important recommendations is to release the fish in a timely manner so that it’s able to recover its organ functionalities.