Summary of “Are we wrong to assume fish can’t feel pain?”

In an essay titled Fish Intelligence, Sentience and Ethics, the Australian researcher Culum Brown suggests that the sheer scale of the global fishing industry makes the idea of legislating for the humane treatment of fish “Too daunting to consider”.
Asking whether fish suffer means asking whether fish possess the ability to feel at all.
“My research has shown that fish have a strikingly similar neuronal system to mammals,” she told me, adding that until 2002, “It was generally believed fish did not have feelings”.
Nerves are not proof that fish experience pain – but Sneddon showed that fish have the necessary hardware.
As Earle said, fish “Have senses we humans can only dream about. Try to imagine having taste buds all along your body. Or the ability to sense the electricity of a hiding fish. Or eyes of a deep sea shark.” Many fish see four major colours; humans only see three.
“At feeding time, a smaller, younger cobia would venture down and nudge the older one up to the surface to feed. They would swim in tandem until feeding time ended. Then the younger fish would take the older one back to the bottom. It happened daily. Seeing a relationship between two fish gave me an entirely new appreciation for the complexity of their world.”
Fish anatomy, neurochemistry and behaviour all indicate that fish experience sensations including wellbeing and pain.
“Suddenly, all the fish turned. Soon they were pelting us like hail stones.” Based on the time it took for the divers to see that a pack of large bluefish was on the attack, Wicklund estimated that the small fish “Were communicating danger and panic throughout the school from as far as a mile away”.

The orginal article.