Fish Have Feelings, Too

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/nature/fish-have-feelings-too/

During his first year of graduate school in California, Brad Erisman’s advisor instructed him to watch a group of kelp bass gathered under a dock. Many mundane hours later, he returned and asked Erisman what he had observed. “They’re not doing anything,” he replied. “They’re just sitting there.”

“It’s not that they’re not doing anything,” his advisor corrected him. “It’s that you’re not cued in on their behaviors.”

He returned to the dock. Thousands of hours of observation later, Erisman—now a fisheries ecologist at the University of Texas—readily recognizes the errors of his early days. There was a whole underwater world of subtle communication, individual behaviors, and group dynamics taking place right in front of his eyes. He just couldn’t see it at the time.

Most of us, however, never learn that lesson. As Erisman says, “People just look at fish as something to be…

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One thought on “Fish Have Feelings, Too

  1. “It’s not that they’re not doing anything,” his advisor corrected him. “It’s that you’re not cued in on their behaviors.”

    That’s pretty much it for most all human assessment of animal behavior and their value.

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