Ikijime App Assists Recreational Fishers With Best Practices

Animal welfare issues have heightened scrutiny over a range of historically accepted fishing and aquaculture practices. Humane dispatch of finfish caught by recreational anglers is one area where best practice matters.  Australia’s National Code of Practice for Recreational and Sport Fishing encourages anglers to “dispatch fish immediately”.  Science shows that brain destruction by pithing or “iki-jime” is the fastest dispatch method resulting in the lowest levels of stress and highest quality fish product.  But fish brains are small and vary in location between species, so some species-specific educational guidance is needed to encourage the average angler to give the iki-jime app a try. 

Dr Ben Diggles is the app’s creator and has been collecting fish brain location data since 2010. Starting with around 60 popular recreational angling species, the series of world leading fish welfare tools were developed.  These include the website (established in 2012) and a series of award winning phone applications (“Ikijime Tool” for iPhone  and Android, established in 2013) which provide much needed electronic access to resources demonstrating accurate “how to” information on the iki-jime procedure.

The methods employed to develop these educational tools revolve around detailed morphological analysis of each fish species. This includes high resolution images of the external features of the head, followed by internal investigations using dissection and x-ray to pinpoint the exact brain location.  The external photos are then electronically overlaid with the x-rays to generate a very cool and unique electronic tool which highlights exactly where the brain location is against external landmarks, allowing users to quickly dispatch fish with a brain spike tool.

Over the past 10 years Dr Diggles has donated many hours and dollars to expanding the fish database and keeping the apps up to date.  Today the database includes nearly 170 popular fish species from across the globe.  

Ikijime Tools has also partnered with the Keep Fish Wet organisation who promote the benefits of minimising air exposure of all fish during catch and release. 

Make sure you check out the free Ikijime Tool downloads next time you are in Google Play or the App Store, and be sure to follow them on Facebook.

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