LKor comments on Fish used as live bait by recreational fishermen - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: LKor 09 August 2018 01:00:32PM *  2 points [-]

Ugg.. something smells fishy here.. : ) The numbers seem completely outlandish.. 1 - 10 billion for recreational fishing in the US? There are, what.. 300 - 500 million total population in the US, I believe? Even assuming 10% are into fishing, would they consume 1 billion bait fish?

I'm extremely skeptical of this and strongly inclined to make a bet against this info being accurate. Currently considering what exactly I'd be willing to put money down against. My intuition is that these figures might be off by a factor of ten or more.

Comment author: saulius  (EA Profile) 09 August 2018 01:54:43PM 2 points [-]

Possible. It could be that the industry inflates the numbers because they want to seem bigger than they are. Note that baitfish is not even the most popular type of bait.

One thing to consider though is how many baitfish people take per fishing trip. After a brief search, I haven't found exact numbers but this website is advising:

Request a discount when purchasing in bulk. Injured minnows may be sold at a discounted rate, but fish that are injured rarely thrive after a change in environment. Instead, request a free dozen for every 10 dozen that you purchase.

So I imagine that fishermen who do buy baitfish, buy a lot of it. I also read that they often don't use them all and throw the rest into a lake, even though that causes ecological issues and everyone is asking fishermen not to do it.

In general, I understand your intuition and I will probably think about this more later.

Comment author: saulius  (EA Profile) 09 August 2018 03:44:12PM 1 point [-]

in https://www.iceshanty.com/ice_fishing/index.php?topic=246812.0 an angler asks in a forum how many minnows should she buy for her fishing trip. The most common answer is 2-3 dozens.

Comment author: Julia_Wise  (EA Profile) 09 August 2018 01:49:45PM 1 point [-]

I was wondering if it's a difference between number hatched and number that make it to the one-year mark at which they're sold?

Comment author: casebash 13 August 2018 06:16:45AM 0 points [-]

I am similarly suspicious. Someone should look into this more.

Comment author: saulius  (EA Profile) 13 August 2018 11:24:40AM 0 points [-]

I'm not sure how to look into this more. Note that the 1.17 billion figure is from the U.S. Goverment report so that should be dependable, at least for the lower bound. I think some more information could be gained by going to a baitshop, looking around and asking some questions (how many fish average person buys, is the industry on the decline, etc.). I myself can not do that because I'm not in the U.S.

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 13 August 2018 04:11:46PM 0 points [-]

One could potentially survey a representative fisherperson population?