Historically, some doubted that fish could experience pain. Laboratory experiments have shown that fish do react to painful stimuli (e. g. , injections of bee venom) in a similar way to mammals. This is controversial and has been disputed. The expansion of fish farming as well as animal welfare concerns in society has led to research into more humane and faster ways of killing fish. In large-scale operations like fish farms, stunning fish with electricity or putting them into water saturated with nitrogen so that they cannot breathe, results in death more rapidly than just taking them out of the water. For sport fishing, it is recommended that fish be killed soon after catching them by hitting them on the head followed by bleeding out or by stabbing the brain with a sharp object (called pithing or ike jime in Japanese). Some believe it is not cruel if you release the catch back to where it was caught however a study in 2018 states that the hook used to catch causes damage to an important part of the feeding mechanism used to suck in food by the fish ignoring the issue of pain.
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