An important part of fishing today is releasing fish and only taking home what you need for a feed.
Australians harvest more than 60 million finfish each year, and today's society expects anglers to dispatch their fish humanely.
Take the time to learn the following four tips and improve not only your fishing skills, but the eating qualities of your catch.
For more details and interactive learning tools that reveal the brain location for a wide range of Australian fish species - please use the iki jime Fish Finder Search Bar at the top of the page.
Time is of the essence. Allowing a fish to thrash around and die slowly in air or a bucket of water is unacceptable. It causes unnecessary stress to the fish, reduces the eating quality and shortens the storage life of the flesh. If you choose to kill a legal sized fish, it should be done quickly - preferably within a minute of it being caught.
Either a firm knock on the head or spiking of the brain (called iki jime - pronounced "iki jimi") will kill fish immediately. These are the two preferred killing methods endorsed by Australia's National Code of Practice for Recreational and Sport Fishing.
Some basic tools are required to kill fish humanely.
Knocking fish on the head with one or more sharp blows is the easiest method of humane killing. The iki jime process requires more precision, but results in the lowest levels of stress to the fish and improves eating quality.Method: Quickly and firmly insert the spiking tool into the areas indicated, and wiggle the tool around to destroy the brain. When performed correctly, the fish will be killed immediately and its body will go limp.
Diagrams on this website pinpoint the exact location of the brain (shown by the white markers) of several of the most popular freshwater, estuary and offshore fish species targeted by anglers in Australia.
Please use the iki jime Fish Finder Search Bar at the top of the page.
Once your fish has been appropriately killed by a knock on the head or iki jime, maximise the eating qualities of your catch by placing it on ice or preferably in an ice slurry (minimum two parts ice to one part water).
Placing a fish in an ice slurry without stunning or killing it first is not stressful to many species, particularly smaller fish from warm waters. However, this method may not be effective or suitable for large fish and/or cold-adapted species (e.g. trout).
Bleeding your fish immediately after stunning or iki jime will improve flesh quality and storage life, particularly if the fish is bled then immediately placed in an ice slurry.
In some species of fish (e.g. whiting) decapitation or breaking the neck can result in immediate death (and therefore minimal stress), however for other fish species death may not be immediate using this method.
Use the seach dropdown list above for more details and interactive learning tools that reveal the brain location for a wide range of fish species.