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Is catch and release fishing permitted? I've heard different opinions on this matter. Whats the official halacha?

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Why wOuld it be forbidden? – Baal Shemot Tovot Apr 9 '12 at 1:26
@Vram Maybe tzaar baalei chayim? There's a noda' beyehuda on the topic I need to track down. – Double AA Apr 9 '12 at 1:56
@DoubleAA, the NB permits (hunting) because of tzaar baalei chaim since it has human purpose, but calls it achzarios and bad for the midos. – YDK Apr 9 '12 at 3:54
possible duplicate of Tzar Balay Chaim for Fish – simchastorah Apr 11 '12 at 0:09
Hello oriole4008, (a slightly belated, yet warm) welcome to Judaism.SE, and thank you for this excellent question! I hope to see you around the site! – HodofHod Apr 17 '12 at 0:52
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Rav Moshe Feinstein has a great responsa in which he says that if it gives you pleasure you may hunt. Fish are generally considered to be lower life forms in that we grant fish fewer halakhic protections (for example eiver min ha'hai does not apply to fish). Though Rav Moshe does say in his responsa that it is not something that he thins is great to do it is not assur. Based on that I would say that in the case of fishing where the fish is not permanently hurt and that fish are generally afforded fewer protections it would certainly be permissible.

My sense is that Rav Moshe would not feel that C&R fishing would be considered unadvisable as he says hunting mammals is.

שו"ת אגרות משה חושן משפט חלק ב סימן מז

כי כל דבר שהוא לצורך האדם ליכא איסור צער בע"ח =בעלי חיים= דהא התירה התורה שחיטה ולא רק לאכילת ישראל אלא אף לאכילת נכרים מותר לשחוט, ואף לכבוד דאדם בעלמא

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Thanx! I think I will do it soon! – oriole4008 Apr 9 '12 at 2:33
I've heard that the rambam in moreh nevuchim writes that the Torah permitted shechita because it limits Tzar ba'alei Chaim. Perhaps then only thru shechita (rov simanim etc...) could you apply this logic according to him. – Baal Shemot Tovot Apr 9 '12 at 2:35
Interesting assertion. I have to think about that. My one concern is that it is difficult to make halakhic conclusions from the M"N as it is a book of machshava (philosophy) – Eytan Yammer Apr 9 '12 at 2:39
@oriole4008 Please remember that this website does not provide a substitute to qualified rabbinic advice, and you should check with your local rabbi before acting on anything you see here. – Double AA Apr 9 '12 at 4:09
@DoubleAA I should always remember to preface anything that I post here with exactly that. Thank You for reminding me. – Eytan Yammer Apr 9 '12 at 5:43

There are a number of opinions that state that catch and release is forbidden halachically on account of צער בעלי חיים - causing the animal pain.

For example, according to the Rav Menashe Klein, Zt"l - Mishneh Halachot - Choshen Mishpat - Chelek 12, Siman 432, it is asur (forbidden) to fish for sport if the fish will not be used for food, and even if the fish is released and survives, hooking the fish's mouth is asur because it inflicts tza'ar (pain):

The following internet sources also maintain that catch and release is forbidden:

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Toras EMES 613, welcome to Judaism.SE, and thanks very much for these sources! I look forward to seeing you around. – Isaac Moses Apr 11 '12 at 3:56
Thanks and kol tuv :-) – Toras EMES 613 Apr 11 '12 at 4:33

HaRav Yitzchak Yosef Shelit"a holds it is asur to fish simply for pleasure. If I remember correctly, it is because of Saar Bale Hayim

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Because of bishul bishabbat or lo tigzol? – Baal Shemot Tovot Apr 17 '12 at 3:21
@vram huh???????? – Hacham Gabriel Apr 17 '12 at 3:22
Well you didn't provide a reason in your answer, so I did my best guessing. (k, maybe not my best.) – Baal Shemot Tovot Apr 17 '12 at 3:24
@vram If I remember correctly, it is becuase of Saar Bale Hayim. – Hacham Gabriel Apr 17 '12 at 3:26
Perhaps you should put that in your answer so people don't make the same mistake I did. – Baal Shemot Tovot Apr 17 '12 at 3:33

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