Keep or re­lease

New Zealand Fishing World - - (Methods) -

Once you start catch­ing fish, you’ll want to get some in the bin but once you have enough for a feed, a re­spon­si­ble thing to do is to re­lease fish to fight another day.

There’s much de­bate around the is­sue of re­leas­ing fish. Re­cent re­search sug­gests that snap­per taken from depths of 30m-plus have a rel­a­tively low chance of sur­vival due to the changes in pres­sure.

How­ever, it is still pos­si­ble for them to make it. If you plan to re­lease a snap­per, try to keep them out the wa­ter for as lit­tle time as pos­si­ble.

Use a wet rag or wet your hands be­fore han­dling the fish. When hold­ing it, make sure its weight is sup­ported. Don’t grab them by the head or tail.

Fish­eries sci­en­tists ad­vise that the two big­gest fac­tors in fish mor­tal­ity are time out of the wa­ter and the depth the fish has been taken from.

Of course, we don’t have to re­lease all the fish we catch and the ones that will end up on your plate should be treated with just as much care.

You want to dis­patch your catch quickly, so a sharp knife or spike through the brain (just above the eye) is a quick and hu­mane way to do this.

As soon as that’s done, you want to get that fish as chilled as pos­si­ble.

Salt ice is an ab­so­lute must and a good trick is to add some sea­wa­ter to the chilly­bin to make an icey slurry.

Fol­low­ing th­ese steps will en­sure your fish tastes as fresh as it pos­si­bly can. It also helps to set the flesh a lit­tle mak­ing it a bit eas­ier when it comes to fil­let­ing.

olivia pykett re­leased this 5kg snap­per.

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