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Minimise stress and physical damage

It is responsible practice to ensure that you minimise stress and physical damage to any released fish to ensure their best chance of survival.

Follow these steps where safe and practical:

  • Minimise time spent to land the fish by using suitable gear

  • Avoid using stainless steel hooks

  • Use circle hooks to increase chance of mouth hooking fish

  • Use barbless hooks or reduce barbs to assist removal

  • Non-offset circle hooks reduce deep setting

  • Do not attempt to remove deep set hooks, trim fishing line as close as possible to the fish’s mouth

  • Minimise handling and air exposure by removing hooks while the fish is in the water (where possible)

  • Use a net with small meshes to reduce potential damage to fins and spines and abrasion of protective mucus and scales

  • Avoid placing or dropping fish on hot or hard surfaces

  • When handling a fish, do not hold fish by the gills or eyes,

  • Cover the eyes with a wet cloth

  • Ensure you have wet hands and support the fish’s weight with two hands

  • Revive exhausted fish by releasing the fish head first into the water allowing water to pass over the gills


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