Fish Are Sentient Too
An Fishes Article from

FROM Jamie Davis Jackson
Facebook posting, September 16, 2021

Fish have central nervous systems, and they are sentient. They experience emotions, as well as pleasure, pain, and fear.

fish organs

An abundance of evidence shows that fish feel pain and suffer just as much as other animals. Fish have central nervous systems, and they are sentient. They experience emotions, as well as pleasure, pain, and fear. Fish have extremely sensitive pain receptors.

Please check out the studies below.

Fish have nerves, as we do, to detect the elements that cause pain—heat, chemicals, and pressure.

  • Fish have nerve receptors that detect painful events.
  • Pain signals are sent to higher brain areas.
  • Pain receptors are similar to amphibians, birds, and mammals.
  • The three types of pain receptors in people are also in fish.
  • Fish pain sensitivity is comparable to humans.

In an experiment, 22 pain receptors were found on the face of rainbow trout. Neural activity was recorded from single cells in the face when either a mechanical probe, heat, or a weak acid was applied. The fish never endings on the face were actually more sensitive, when pressure was applied, than those in humans, and were more sensitive than our eyes. (Braithwaite, 2003). See Do fishes have nociceptors? Evidence for the evolution of a vertebrate sensory system

In humans and other higher vertebrates, there are two types of nerve fibers used in pain transmission: ‘A’ fibers that transmit pain signals quickly, involved in the fast, pricking sensation of pain; and ‘C’ fibers that transmit pain signals slowly, involved in aching pain.

In vertebrates, including fish and humans, the trigeminal nerve (the fifth cranial nerve), conveys sensory signal information from the head and mouth to the brain. In one experiment, in Scotland, rainbow trout were deeply anaesthetized. The head was operated on to expose the trigeminal nerve, which was stimulated by very fine wire, heat and chemicals. The research found both of these fiber types (Sneddon, 2006). See Pain Perception in Fish: Evidence and Implications for the Use of Fish

Russian scientists recorded the responses of various fish to painful electrical shocks, which caused their tails to jerk. They were then given painkillers, followed by further shocks. Painkillers reduced the tail jerks by up to 89%. The most sensitive areas to pain were the tail and pectoral fins, skin around the eye, and olfactory sacs. Pain sensitivity was found to be comparable to humans (Chervova and Lapshin, 2004). See Pain sensitivity of fishes and analgesia induced by opioid and nonopioid agentsd

In research carried out at Manchester University in England, the face of the trout was stimulated while responses in the trigeminal nerve in the brain were recorded. It was found that skin receptors of trout are more sensitive to mechanical stimulus than mammals and birds. It was conjectured that this is because fish are continuously exposed to water pressure, bacteria and fungi. Fish were also pain-sensitive to lower thresholds of heat than mammals (Ashley, 2007). See Nociception in Fish: Stimulus–Response Properties of Receptors on the head of Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss is the first organization devoted to promoting the recognition of fish as sentient beings deserving of respect and compassion. Fish Feel primarily serves to help educate the public as to why these animals are deserving of our admiration and appreciation, the immense problems caused by the exploitation of them, and how we can help them.

Return to Fishes Articles