Sunday, January 07, 2007

There's always a bigger fish...

...which deserves an ASBO.

Mr. Eugenides is adding to his sphere of influence. It used to be that he was the 'go-to guy' for Comment is Free bashing. Now he informs us of the Scottish Parliament's increasingly dismal output.

The latest is a ban on live bait for anglers. Now, a ban on angling is, if utterly illiberal and rather philosophically questionable, at least somewhat defensible in terms of preventing animal suffering which is not strictly necessary. However, clearly the act of placing hooks in fishes isn't what is being targetted here. Rather, the problem is setting a fish up to be eaten by another fish. However, in terms of sheer numbers it seems pretty certain that far more fish are made prey independently by carnivorous fish than are made prey by human intervention; this is an entirely natural process.

The usual separation of natural animal carnivores and unnecessary human eating can't really be made here as we are not the ones doing the eating but are merely facilitating a fish eating another. The only "unnatural" event is when the pike is removed from the water following its meal but this is little different to other forms of angling.

Surely the answer, if you have a problem with fish lower down the food chain being eaten by fish further up the food chain is some kind of mass pike detoothing programme?

1 comment:

Dave Cole said...

If you're fishing for saltwater fish, shrimp is the preferred live bait. Is that banned as well?