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NFC and respect
I think the point that Peter and I have been trying to make is that
responsible fisheries personnel will not condone the releasing of fish for
any reason without the approval of the local version of the Dept. of Fish
and Wildlife (or DNR). NFC took a great approach to this issue with their
'never release' policy. This policy could buy respect in the right circles,
but only if it is firmly adhered to and upheld. This idea of backing away
from the topic of releasing fish where caught is only going to weaken NFC's
position in this regard.
Some people want to release their animals back to the point of capture,
seeing this as in some way morally superior to killing or trading these
creatures, but knowing even the possibility exists that I could harm the
fishes in one of my favorite bodies of water was enough to alter my thinking
on the subject years ago. I can admit that I use to feel this way, and saw
it as one of the appeals of keeping natives.
I think NFC needs to stay with the stronger version of 'never ever release',
not just 'release when you need a tank free as long as it is where you
caught the animal or you know the animal occurs there'. I know no one has
said this yet, but it seems to be where this discussion is heading.