SAFS Seminar – Sportfishing – Oct. 21st

21 Oct @ 4pm in FSH 102

Gene Helfman

Professor Emeritus, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia

Fish, Pain, and the Ethics of Sportfishing

Ethical questions deal with moral constructs of right and wrong, questions that we must ask ourselves despite a reluctance to do so. I hope to engage the UW SAFS community in an exploration of ethical arguments for and against sport and other types of fishing. I will focus on the question of whether (or not) fish feel pain and how that affects our personal decisions about sport fishing. Ethical decisions can be based on systematic and rational arguments, but they are often also legitimately personal. We must make decisions about the welfare of fishes and how our individual and collective actions influence their future. My chief objective here is to provide information for making those decisions.

“A good rule of angling philosophy is not to interfere with any fisherman’s ways of being happy, unless you want to be hated.” Zane Grey (1919), Tales of Fishes.