||RSPCA Australia considers that the available scientific evidence demonstrates that fish are sentient animals capable of experiencing pain and suffering. Anglers should therefore treat fish humanely and avoid practices that have the potential to cause pain, injury or suffering during capture, handling, killing or release.
||RSPCA Australia is opposed to bluewater fishing for sport due to the inherent and significant risks of prolonged pain, injury, suffering and distress to the fish involved.
||RSPCA Australia is opposed to the use of lead in angling due to the potential to negatively impact waterbirds and the environment.
||RSPCA Australia believes that angling should only be conducted in waterways where free-running fish can escape and the fish is either immediately released, providing survival is considered likely, or humanely killed.
||RSPCA Australia supports the compulsory regulation of a code of practice for the welfare of fish caught by angling which is based on current evidence regarding the capacity of fish to experience pain and suffering. Compliance with this code must be a condition of recreational fishing licences.
||RSPCA Australia is opposed to the use of live vertebrates as bait in fishing.
Note: Bluewater fishing is a form of fishing for sport or recreation generally using a rod and reel from a motorboat where caught fish may be ‘played’ for extended periods before finally being landed. Large fish such as tuna and marlin are usually targeted.
RSPCA Policy E08 Fish and aquatic invertebrates