There are so many nonviolent ways for children to enjoy experiencing the outdoors. Fishing is not one of them (“Take a Kid Fishing,” April 13 Outdoors). Science has shown that fish can suffer fear and pain. Catch-and-release fishing is also extremely harmful to fish. Studies have shown that many do not survive the trauma. Harming and killing animals for entertainment is cruel and unjustifiable. It does not fit the definition of a sport since fish are non-consenting victims.
Many people, including children, are developing a more compassionate sensibility toward animals. Kids don’t want to go fishing; it’s boring and gross. For many children it is a turnoff to nature. They should instead be encouraged to participate in activities in which they learn to appreciate nature and develop genuine respect for our fellow sentient species. As the song goes: “Teach your children well.”
President, Fish Feel
Silver Spring, Md.