MARK SAINSBURY: Is it right to catch large fish for fun, not food?


The Titantic struggle of man against marlin is a fight between a fisherman and a fish that goes on for hours - is it sport or cruelty?

I know people with an absolute passion for fishing in many forms. And they would never for a moment consider themselves cruel people - but do their actions suggest otherwise?

Every time I see pictures of people with their record-breaking marlin catches, it's confronting.

Most recently it was Donna Pascoe and her 420kg catch off the top of the North Island.

These are very large, and most probably very old, examples of their species, and truly a trophy animal.

Is it right to catch them for sport, not food?

We have a mixed relationship with animals. Some are a food source, some are companions, some are sporting goals and some are a mixture.

We never think about where our food comes from and you might think well there are plenty of other issues out there, why worry about people just having fun.

Maybe it's a question of scale. You wouldn't tell the two young kids fishing off the wharf to pack it in because they're perpetrating animal crimes, would you?

And is fly fishing in the same league?

Is a big fish caught almost instantly alright, while one that requires a lengthy painful battle not?

Whether it's a snapper or a marlin it's pretty brutal business - but this is survival of the fittest, isn't it?

Otherwise we shouldn't fish at all. Let's all live off plants, unless we discover that's being cruel as well. Can you hear the carrots scream?

Mark Sainsbury hosts Morning Talk from 9am-midday on RadioLIVE.