Iki Jime - brainspiking to dispatch fish

An important part of fishing today is only taking home what you need for a feed and quickly releasing fish that is undersized or not wanted. "Australian's harvest more than 60 million fin-fish each year, and today's society expects anglers to dispatch their fish humanely". (Iki Jime pamphlet)

Iki Jime (also spelt Ike Jime) is a humane way to kill a fish. The technique originated in Japan by Tuna fishermen, but is now in widespread use. A sharp knife, screwdriver or specially designed tool is inserted into specially marked spot, usually located slightly behind and above the eye, thereby causing immediate brain death because it disconnects the brain from the nervous system. The fish is killed immediately and it will go limp. Furthermore, the blood contained in the fish flesh retracts to the gut cavity, which produces a better coloured and flavoured fillet. This method is considered to be the fastest and most humane method of killing fish.

Nearly all fish have a similar anatomy, so locating the brain cavity is relatively easy. The photo attached show you where the spot is on a Snapper and a Flathead. This important point of reference is the same of similar shaped fish. Insert your Iki Jime tool (we use a short handled Phillips head screwdriver, but a knife or spike will be just as adequate). Wiggle the spike form side to side to ensure the fish is dead (and no electrical impulses are coming from its brain). You will know when you have hit the spot as the fish will make a slight shudder then relax. The fish will also change colour (eg. Snapper – skin will turn a bright crimson and blue spots will almost illuminate).

Iki Jime requires commitment and practice but it is worth the results. Once you have the fundamentals it takes less than 10 seconds to efficiently dispatch your fish.

Scientists have found that fish don't feel pain but they do suffer stress. Keeping them out of the water is cruel and leaving a fish to die in an exposed dry bucket is barbaric. This type of stress and suffering is totally unnecessary. Iki Jime is a simple technique that is fast, lethal and humane which results in fresher, superior fish meat for eating.

On Plover we use two main methods to end their suffering - a quick bop on the head or the Iki Jime process. Both methods are found to be acceptable by animal activist groups.

(Source: Pamphlet by DigsFish Services & Wikipedia. Photos - mostly unknown, BHenderson - spiking demo)