ONE of the most popular posts on the Isle of Wight County Press website over the weekend — the amazing 31lb cod caught by Carisbrooke welder Lee Frampton — has sparked plenty of de-bait over whether or not he should have put it back in the sea.

While many have applauded Lee's catch of the giant cod as a great achievement, others reacted angrily to the ethics of killing such a large sea creature in the name of sport.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Lee Frampton's giant cod was almost as tall as him! Photo: Lee Frampton

The 41-year-old, who was just short of an Island record for a cod and 7lb better than his previous best, said he had filleted it and put it in his freezer, as well as shared the bounty with family and friends to enjoy.

After he had been fishing patiently for several hours, Lee got lucky.

He said: "It was a hell of a size and well worth the wait."

While some joked about his catch, with one person commenting she would think twice before dipping her toe in the Island's waters, some were disgusted and dismayed by the practice, amid the backdrop of ever-decreasing fish stocks.

Vegetarian Doug Haywood was angered by Lee's angling achievement.

Commenting on the County Press web story, he said: "That fish was quite happy and unusually large — until Lee came along and killed it."

Sarah Turtle echoed Doug's sentiments: "Anglers may not want to think about it, but fishing is nothing more than a cruel blood sport.

"When fish are impaled on an angler’s hook and yanked out of the water, it’s not a game to them. They are scared, in pain and fighting for their lives."

Isle of Wight County Press:

Yesterday, Matthew Edwards added his congratulations to Lee for his mammoth catch.

After reading the County Press story, he posted the comment: "Well done on a great catch. Cod numbers are up around the UK and one angler taking one fish is not going to affect this!

"There are plenty more fish in the sea.

"Vegetarians or vegans are always going to disagree with this."

On the Isle of Wight County Press Facebook page yesterday (Sunday), Luke Gaskin said: "Amazing to see this size cod off the Island. 

"If you eat meat or fish, this is the reality of where it comes from. Burning fossil fuels driving a car, traveling in a plane, or having central heating on is doing more harm to nature than Lee.

"The dwindling fish stocks are down to commercial trawling, not individual fishermen."

Lee summed it up, having read all the comments made about the story, by telling those who oppose him: "Where do you draw the line? I'm sure animals or insects suffered in some way bringing you your fruit or veg?

"I eat fish — and that is my choice, the same as it is yours not to eat meat.

"No one is having a go at you for that. That cod wasn't a vegetarian. He went round eating other fish."