Hey all. I’ve been using iNaturalist for almost a year now but only recently have I started getting involved with the Forums. I figure this would be another good place to ask this question.
I am an avid recreational fisherman, and I practice catch-and-release 99% of the time I go out. So you can imagine I’ve had to contend with people who call me and my actions cruel and abusive to fish. They cite statistics that claim even if the fish are handled properly the trauma they have after being released causes them to starve to death (iirc the number is 1-3% mortality rate). And then there’s also the whole animal cruelty side of the argument, ethics and morals and whatnot. Which of course leads me to a quandary - am I really being respectful to nature if I have such a profound effect on the fish I catch?
Of course, these people are activists with little to no credentials in the fields of biology and ecology, but I know there are actual scientists who have decades of experience using iNaturalist, or at least people who look into these issues with actual scientific depth. I’m curious to know what the members of this community think of this issue.