tatjna (tatjna) wrote,

Holy shit that's a big fish

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.
Tags: En ymmärrä is the operative word, broadbill swordfish, declension is a thing
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