Bay of Islands SPCA inspector Jim Boyd commented âThe law is clear: hunting and fishing are allowed but there is a fine line from hunting and fishing into crueltyâ. He is claiming that fish have feelings and is prepared to prosecute game fishers for animal cruelty. Game fishers could face up to $125,000 fines and/or up to six month jail. Bay of Islands charter boat operators say that it will be difficult to prove that fish have feelings. Researchers and an Auckland University Professor John Montgomery have researched into the idea that fish do feel pain but not on the same level as humans. Fish have pain fibres and pathways into the nervous system and thereâs quite good behavioral evidence that they do feel pain.