FISH FOR YOUR WELL­BE­ING

First News - - BIG NEWS -

THE Gov­ern­ment is en­cour­ag­ing us all to go fishing to im­prove our men­tal health and well­be­ing.

Over 100,000 more peo­ple are fishing in Eng­land since the COVID-19 lock­down was eased in May. Fishing re­tail­ers have also re­ported an in­crease in de­mand for be­gin­ners’ fishing kits and tackle.

In a re­cent sur­vey, an­glers in Eng­land and Wales said that fishing helps their men­tal health and well­be­ing. So now the Gov­ern­ment wants more of us to take it up.

It says that learn­ing a new skill can boost self-es­teem, and that fishing is quite safe as it can be done eas­ily with so­cial dis­tanc­ing. It also “en­hances con­nec­tions with na­ture” and en­cour­ages friend­ships that can com­bat lone­li­ness or anx­i­ety that may have built up dur­ing the lock­down.

But not ev­ery­body is crazy about the idea. Dr Krzysztof Wo­j­tas of the char­ity Com­pas­sion in World Farm­ing told First News that catch­ing and re­leas­ing fish in­creases their suf­fer­ing. He said: “Un­for­tu­nately, be­ing caught causes pain, stress and fear in fish, and re­sults in phys­i­cal in­juries that can be­come in­fected. We would en­cour­age the pub­lic to con­sider less in­va­sive ways of in­ter­act­ing with wildlife.”

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