Endangered Shovelnose Ray Caught & Released at Bedok Jetty Sparks Debate About Sports Fishing


Sports fishing is often seen as a more noble pursuit than commercial fishing because the creatures that are caught are later released back into the sea.

However, in recent years, some have started questioning the ethics of catch-and-release fishing, and whether it does harm to the animals caught.

Now, a video of an angler releasing an endangered catch back into the sea has sparked a debate about the practice.

Endangered Shovelnose Ray Caught & Released at Bedok Jetty Sparks Debate About Sports Fishing

It all started when a Facebook user and his fellow recreational anglers uploaded a video of them releasing an endangered Shovelnose ray back into waters at Bedok Jetty.

In the video, two men hold up the mammoth fish while their friends cheer “catch and release!”

One of the anglers then drops it over the railing into the sea, where it swims away.

“Byebye! Once again thanks for putting up an awesome fight!” the Facebook user said.

Most of the comments on the man’s post were congratulatory, with the post garnering nearly 700 likes and 15,000 views.

However, when it was reposted on the Facebook page Nature Society (Singapore), the reaction was very different, to say the least.

Many called the act cruel, with one noting that the fish was bleeding.

“Can someone explain to me why is catch and release a good thing please? If you got caught with a hole put thru your mouth, then released, I highly doubt you will feel shiok about it”, one netizen said.

Others applauded the anglers for letting the fish go.

“Wish to see more of such behaviour. Thank you for not taking that catch of yours as a dinner. Good deed indeed. A million thanks to you,” one commenter said.

Do Fish Feel Pain?

According to the Smithsonian Magazinescientists have discovered in recent years that fish do indeed feel pain, albeit a very different one from humans.

In one study, researchers dropped brightly coloured Lego blocks into tanks containing rainbow trout.


Usually, trout avoid unfamiliar objects suddenly introduced to their environment in case it’s dangerous.

However, when scientists gave the rainbow trout a painful injection of acetic acid, they were much less likely to engage in these defensive behaviours, presumably because they were too consumed by their own suffering.

Another study found that fish can’t suck up food as well after having a hole poked in their mouth by a fishing hook.

Advocates of sports fishing believe, however, that these fish are able to heal quickly after being caught.

What do you think?


Featured Image: Facebook (Andy JunHan Ong)