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Holy shit that's a big fish - Tactical Ninja

Mar. 27th, 2014

10:10 am - Holy shit that's a big fish

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So you know how the other day I told you about Evan catching that broadbill swordfish? Turns out he caught it in his own boat, 30 miles off Tutukaka. He sent me a photo last night.


Biggest fish I've ever seen. I just stared at this for ages trying to comprehend it. Evan's about the same height as me..



There's a chunk of this fish sitting in Auckland for me next time I'm up there. Evan called me last night from Christchurch where he's off to do some deer shooting during the roar.

As it turns out, having a degenerative heart disease hasn't slowed him down much. Dude's pretty tough, and ever since they told him to start getting his affairs in order, he's been systematically going about ticking off his bucket list. One of the things on his bucket list is to get out with Kiri and me and do some unspecified thing that probably involves killing things*. To this end, I'm shouting myself a trip up north in early May for my birthday, to hang out with these guys and collect my pile 'o' swordfish. I'm very much looking forward to it.

* I don't subscribe to the 'animals are sentient beings and therefore we shouldn't kill them' school of thought. This isn't to say I don't believe they are sentient - I just am ok with eating flesh. What I'm not ok with is cruelty and killing for fun. Gamefishing is one of those things that falls very close to my ethical line in terms of what's ok in the field of killing animals.

Having been inside the sport for a fairly long time, I know that catching a fish on a line and playing it doesn't really fall into 'quick and painless' as deaths go. However, there are not many ways to catch fish that are quick and painless for the fish. There are definitely means of dispatching them quickly once you're close enough, but to get them close is a traumatic experience for the fish. The faster you do this, the less it suffers.

I am ethically ok with fishing (obviously) as long as the resulting catch is intended for food, and the fish itself is dealt with as humanely as possible. I can't help but feel sad that such a beautiful, magnificent animal as that broadbill up there was killed, but given that it's probably passed on its obviously survival-y genes a number of times already, if a fish is going to be killed it could be a lot worse than a healthy adult like this one.

And for those who think that we should only take smaller fish and leave the biggest ones to continue breeding, I should probably point out that broadbill can grow to in excess of 500kg - this one's not even middle aged yet. It's the equivalent of a pan-sized snapper.

In case you missed it in the comments yesterday, there's a moratorium on the sale of billfish flesh in New Zealand, and has been since 1988. The only way to eat swordfish is to catch it yourself (or know someone who caught one). Around here, these are not getting pulled out of the ocean en masse. The US passed legislation preventing importing of billfish to the mainland states in 2012 (there had previously been protection laws over the Atlantic, and these were extended to the Pacific). Oddly enough, I'm struggling to find info about who still does fish for billfish commercially. It must be someone, since both Pacific blue and striped marlin are classed as 'overfished'.

If anyone can find that info, I'd like to know.

Also, I finished Muttley. Here she is:




Freighting something like this to Auckland is expensive, even though it only weighs 3kg or so. Stoopid volumetric pricing, you suck. Anyway, there's a tutorial for how it was made here.


Meanwhile, Finnish word of the day today is 'ymmärrän'. It's pronounced kind of like u-ma-rr-an, and it means 'I understand'. Although tbh I think 'En ymmärrä' (I don't understand) is probably more useful to me right now, eh? The Finnish trill their rs, which is kind of like the rolling in Maori but with a shorter sound. It's kind of hard not to do a drumroll instead of a trill when doing this. I'm probably shouting or something...

Also, declension. It's a thing. I think it's an emininently sensible thing that happens not at all in English. In fact, before yesterday I didn't even know what it was. Now I'm all "Wow, that's clever!" and "Oh noes, now I have to learn all this stuff. Shit."

[edit] Turns out Australia still fishes commercially for striped marlin.

Comments:

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From:ingenious76
Date:March 26th, 2014 09:26 pm (UTC)
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Blimey, that's a big fish!
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From:tatjna
Date:March 26th, 2014 09:28 pm (UTC)
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I worked it out, it's about the size of three people. Or a small horse. Eek!
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From:fbhjr
Date:March 26th, 2014 10:07 pm (UTC)
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What a fish!
That's amazing!
When you do get some, let us know how it tastes.

The dog looks great too!
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From:tatjna
Date:March 26th, 2014 10:41 pm (UTC)
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I'm curious too. Apparently they haven't smoked it which surprises me - usually fish this large are smoked as a matter of course. *goes to check*

Ok, so apparently swordfish is an oily fish like marlin, but has a firmer flesh so it can be grilled on skewers and the like. The general consensus seems to be 'treat it like steak'.

OM NOM NOM NOM
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From:kehleyr
Date:March 26th, 2014 11:06 pm (UTC)
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Do you have somewhere where you can hear how the word in Finnish is pronounced?

I am ethically ok with fishing (obviously) as long as the resulting catch is intended for food, and the fish itself is dealt with as humanely as possible. I completely agree with you on this!

And YIKES... that is BIG!
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From:tatjna
Date:March 26th, 2014 11:08 pm (UTC)
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Well, there's the google translate lady, and also the one on this site, but knowing how they are pronounced and pronouncing them myself are two different things.

With the trilled 'r', there's a similar thing in Maori but it's a bigger sound, harder and more rolling. Each roll takes a wee bit longer. Lots of native English speakers struggle with the Maori 'r', and since I've got the hang of that, I'm struggling not to apply it here. I can here it's wrong but it'll take a while before I have that much control of my tongue. ;-)
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From:myrrhmade
Date:March 26th, 2014 11:35 pm (UTC)
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Holy hell that's a lot of delicious swordfish steaks, there. YUM. Also Muttley is ridiculously cute!
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From:tatjna
Date:March 27th, 2014 04:43 am (UTC)
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I am looking forward to finding out what delicious swordfish steaks taste like. ;-)
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From:myrrhmade
Date:March 28th, 2014 02:12 am (UTC)
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Not a sustainable fish, but certainly a most delicious fish. I LOVE swordfish, omg. *drools*
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From:tatjna
Date:March 28th, 2014 02:20 am (UTC)
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I kind of see it as a once-in-a-lifetime fish - like, if you could only ever take them recreationally, most people wouldn't do it and the ones that do get caught would be a special treat for the person and their friends. Like Evan's one up there will be.

I am really really against commercial fishing for billfish of any kind, and am unsure of what policy I could come up with to effectively regulate other forms of commercial fishing - but my brain is working on it.
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From:pombagira
Date:March 27th, 2014 12:03 am (UTC)
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muttley looks great!! hooray!!

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From:danjite
Date:March 27th, 2014 04:37 am (UTC)
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1) Muttley is amaze.

2) Eager to help eat some of that colossus (should help be needed ;) )!
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From:tatjna
Date:March 27th, 2014 04:43 am (UTC)
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I expect help will be needed, based on how much fish I came home with last time.
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From:danjite
Date:March 27th, 2014 05:01 am (UTC)
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Yay!

Haven't had billfish in ages, but recall it bbq'd amazingly.

Also, there is this.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 27th, 2014 07:53 am (UTC)
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I see he's in one of those hobie kayaks. Still, 12 miles is a long way to paddle back..
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From:meathiel
Date:March 27th, 2014 06:25 am (UTC)
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Wow ... that swordfish is ... massive.
How did he ever manage to haul it aboard???
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From:tatjna
Date:March 27th, 2014 07:53 am (UTC)
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There were three of them, and it took 2 hours to get it over the side. They seized the anchor winch doing it apparently.
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From:nick_101
Date:March 27th, 2014 06:26 am (UTC)
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That fish is so huge.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 27th, 2014 07:55 am (UTC)
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It's exactly 100kg bigger than the biggest fish I've ever caught. And is the equivalent of 3 people.
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From:crazedturkey
Date:March 27th, 2014 06:29 am (UTC)
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Holy FISH!

Way to go Evan!
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From:tatjna
Date:March 27th, 2014 07:54 am (UTC)
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He looks pretty chuffed, eh?
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From:jaelle_n_gilla
Date:March 27th, 2014 09:11 am (UTC)
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The fish is.... wow! And they'll smoke that and you'll have fish for the whole family and friends for a year? ;-)

You are right of course - the older the creature, the more they've probably produced lots of little fish and fishing like this, one on one, is definitely more ecological than large nets with tiny holes that take all the young ones, too.

The dog is awesome!!! If I hadn't seen him as work in progress I would have thought you stuffed a real one.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 27th, 2014 08:27 pm (UTC)
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I'm really pleased with how Muttley came out given that the whole job was done on a shoestring. ;-)

Turns out they decided not to smoke it, and there's a bit for me in Auckland next time I'm up there. Kiri rang me last night and told me it measures 30cm x 30cm x 14cm! So yeah, there might have to be a big barbecue where we invite everyone we know, just to eat it all..
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From:brynhilda
Date:March 27th, 2014 11:57 am (UTC)
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Gosh, that's a huge one. The first time I ever tried swordfish was last year. I usually don't eat fish, but my neighbours forced me to try it and it was indeed delicious.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 27th, 2014 08:25 pm (UTC)
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I've never had it, but I'm told it is really good - like, the fish for people who don't really like fish, because it's more like meat. Maybe you are a case in point!
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From:brynhilda
Date:March 29th, 2014 04:11 pm (UTC)
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Yes, that's true.It really tatses more like meat.
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From:goddessofchaos
Date:March 27th, 2014 02:31 pm (UTC)
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Wow, that's quite the fish! You'd get a lot of portions of fish and chips out of that!
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From:tatjna
Date:March 27th, 2014 08:24 pm (UTC)
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Haha I hadn't thought of that! Totally want to try it now..
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From:n3m3sis42
Date:March 28th, 2014 01:14 am (UTC)
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Holy shit, that's a big fish.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 28th, 2014 01:14 am (UTC)
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Holy shit indeed. ;-D
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From:nessainwe
Date:March 28th, 2014 03:06 am (UTC)
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wow, that is a giant fish!
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From:meri_sielu
Date:March 28th, 2014 04:18 pm (UTC)
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I knew swordbills were huge but damn that's a beauty! Shame to see it like that though :( At least it's not going to waste and is going to be enjoyed. :)
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