• With Diving Geko having brought up iki jime and being ridiculously slow at work all I have done today was watch some (a lot of) videos. More iki jime videos than spearfishing videos today even.

    I know this is clearly a farm, but I thought their process was very fast and efficient. Thought I'd share with you all. Not sure if you guys are as fascinated by the process as I am.


  • One last link for you guys and I'll leave you alone. This link is kind of cool. While most of us know where to send our knife/iki jime tool perhaps some newer guys do not. Most of us know about the little triangle we make from the eyes to find where the brain is. These guys took fish from various regions of the world and x-rayed them to determine exactly where the brain is located for that specific fish. Simply input your location and select the fish you are looking for.

    From CA so I gave yellowtail a shot. Couldn't get the x-ray version to save. Kept saving the color version. But here is the color version.

    iki Jime | HUMANE KILLING OF FISH - FRESHWATER - ESTUARY - OFFSHORE Maximum quality, minimum fuss.

  • The videos are somewhat macabre to me but fascinating. So that's where the canned tuna I buy at the supermarket comes from?

    I think the braining site would be a great resource. First thing I checked is barracuda because I can never get it right, so I gave up braining cuda a long time ago and just rip out the gills. Guess what, no barracuda.
    Cobia was another fish of interest because it has a hard head. They have it but I don't know if I'd trust it. Again I rip out the gills.

  • Good videos and especially the first one is right on the money in terms of what I had previously read and researched on the procedure.
    Basically, the whole idea is to preserve the meat and protect it against bruises. First they stun and then brain the fish, so it wont flap around. Notice how even after it being brained, the heart keeps beating so when they make the bleed cuts at the pectoral fins, the blood pumps out. Then they insert the long mono/wire to destroy any nerve signals in the spine. I think the farms use wires as the buyer knows and trusts they do the procedure whereas on many wild caught tuna, they tend to use mono and leave it in the fish for the buyer to see. With a crew, like in the first video, these things happens so fast and though it is a tad macabre it also shows respect and skill. That first video is a like a dance; they work so fast but still so smooth.

    BTW, the canned tuna is often lesser tuna species or tuna caught on boats where they don't do this. I am quite sure the tuna in these videos will end up as sashimi. Sometimes they don't even bleed tuna going to canneries.

    I even came across a paper from a US organisation sharing the method for US boats so that their tuna would be accepted as sashimi grade. That's where the money is. If the fishing boat takes a few mins extra per fish and have the freezing capabilities, then a fish treated like this can make a whole lot more in a market. I'll see if I can find that paper.

    As a side note, I think I mentioned elsewhere how, a few years ago, I ran into a Japanese marine biologist (in Japan) from a famous university's department of aquaculture and fish farming. He said everyone should gut their fish fast as any parasites in the gut will start migrating into the flesh once they sense their host is dead. He also told me, that the Japanese had just succeed in breeding their first "full circle" bluefin tuna. Meaning they had farmed bluefin from eggs from other farmed bluefin. I think he said the fish is 7 years old once they "harvest" it. This is potentially a huge deal in terms of sustainability as normally, the farms get their eggs or spawn from the wild and then take them to the farms - which at the end of the day is not sustainable at all.

  • This video is probably the most butcher like of the ones I have come across, but it does show the foam mattress and the mono being snipped after inserting. They even have plastic bags in "tuna size".

    Here are two links for PDFs on the procedure:
    Not from US org, as I thought, but Aussie + French

    One more here

  • As for the braining on Cudas, I think I do mine a little further back than normally, though not sure. But this one, while the insertion point is that far back, I think the shutter happened as I moved the handle forward and the blade pivoted backwards inside the fish (even more back than in this pic).

  • technic widely used on the north America east coast by pro fishermen during the short bluefin tuna fishing season... to improve the tuna meat quality
    this quality is better among tuna taken by electric harpooning than rod/reel fishing (fish fighting increases blood lactic level)
    got the rare opportunity to take part to a bf tuna auction and Japanese brokers took part
    one pic shows a puncture made by a broker in the tuna meat: you can observe the meat lactic acid action close to the spinal body part

    in my modest opinion "wiki jime" works only with fish landed on the deck
    a spearo struggling with a capture in the water may use other technics to kill the fish...

  • It was mentioned in a previous thread that many will send the wire through the hole created when braining the fish. Also that there are hollow tools that allow you to send the wire through that hole without having to remove the tool itself. I pasted a link to one such tool below. At the end of the page is a video of how the tool is used (couldn't find the video on YouTube to post directly here).

    All-in-One Ike Jime Wire Stick

    Here is the video for the tool.


  • Philippe, those auctions seem like quite an experience. I would love to go to one of those just to spectate.

    With regard to iki jime and a spearo's application of the practice, I believe we could successfully carry out the process in a modified manner. Clearly not in the same fashion as any of the videos I had provided as examples. We don't have the luxury of an entire team plus we are in the water. Now I know there are so many scenarios where the practice would need to be further modified or completely impractical, but in an ideal situation I think we could easily carry out in this manner:
    - shoot/land fish
    - brain fish (in water)
    - return brained fish to boat
    - crew iki jime/bleed/ice

    Basically I figure the spearo eliminates the necessity for any clubbing by our field braining. The fish is then no longer thrashing (which as a bonus limits the amount of bruising which would otherwise need to be maintained by padding on deck) and the crew can safely carry out the remainder of the iki jime process throughout the entire spine. Of course, under different conditions, different fish, etc. these things would need to be modified, however, I believe the practice could still be carried out.

  • Dan, with these fish (tuna) going for $50k easy I'd say the time is not wasted. Some fish even hit a million. It is a necessary process for sashimi grade fish. These guys that go out to the auctions, as Philippe had mentioned, are ruthless. They have such a high standard that if you were to take even the slightest shortcut they would notice.

    This process (which is actually the Tanguchi method) stops the lactic acid from traveling to the meat providing a fresher fish that will keep longer. If you've ever gone into a sushi restaurant and noticed a stench of fish when you go in only to come out disgusted that is where you notice the difference. Besides, with an outfit like the guys I posted getting it done in under 2 minutes I think they would find it well worth their time for that extra few thousand.

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