The talks in this event will challenge the commonly-held view of fish as robot-like animals with no intelligence and a 30 second memory, which often leads to fish conservation being ignored in favour of more charismatic animals. As our first talk will show, this view is very far from the truth.
Fish vary of course, but the group as a whole have a well-developed capacity for learning, a good memory when this is needed and perform many complex behaviours that in mammals, for example, would be deemed intelligent or “smart”. Thus fish form mental maps, use tools, build complicated structures and develop traditions.
The dissonance between popular image and reality arises because most people do not have the time or opportunity to discover just how complex fish behaviour is. However, it needn’t be this way. Recreational anglers spend a lot of time observing and interacting with fish, so in this session we will explore what they have to say about how smart fish are. We will draw on the experience and observations of our second speaker, a lifelong angler and commentator, and also, we hope, on the expertise of anglers in the audience.
Our aim is to promote creative discussion between people with different perspectives and to highlight the value of the traditional knowledge that anglers possess and pass on to successive generations.