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Is Marlin Fishing Cruel

Is Marlin Fishing Cruel?

Marlin fishing is a popular recreational sport and commercial industry.

However, there are concerns that some marlin fishing practices may be unethical and harmful to marlin populations. In this article, we will attempt to answer once and for all: Is Marlin Fishing Cruel?

Marlin Conservation Status

Some marlin species are more threatened than others. Here is a table showing the conservation status of different marlin species according to the IUCN Red List:

SpeciesConservation Status
Atlantic Blue MarlinEndangered
White MarlinVulnerable
Pacific Blue MarlinLeast Concern
Black MarlinData Deficient


Overfishing is a significant concern in the fishing industry. It can lead to the depletion of fish populations and disrupt marine ecosystems. However, it’s worth noting that U.S. wild-caught Pacific blue marlin is considered a smart seafood choice because it is sustainably managed and responsibly harvested under U.S. regulations.


Bycatch refers to the unintended capture of non-target species during fishing. Marlin are often caught incidentally in commercial fisheries targeting other species, which can lead to unintended harm to other marine animals.

To mitigate this, U.S. pelagic longline fishermen are required to use specific tools and handling techniques.

Catch-and-Release Practices

Catch-and-release fishing can cause stress, injury, and sometimes death to the fish. However, some anglers argue that catch-and-release practices are more ethical than commercial fishing, as the fish have a chance to survive and reproduce.


In some cases, marlin caught in fishing tournaments have been disqualified due to mutilation caused by sharks or other marine animals. This raises concerns about the welfare of the fish and the ethics of continuing to fish for marlin in such circumstances.

Fish Pain and Suffering

Research has shown that fish do experience pain and learn to avoid it, similar to other animals. This raises ethical concerns about the suffering inflicted on marlin during the fishing process.


In conclusion, whether marlin fishing is cruel or not depends on the methods used, the purpose behind it, and the impact on the fish and the marine ecosystem. As a responsible fisherman, you may want to consider promoting sustainable fishing practices, supporting regulations that protect marlin populations, and raising awareness about the ethical concerns surrounding marlin fishing.

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Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.

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