The right way to kill a fish

  • Published: 27 June 2019
  • The most popular way to kill fish isn’t great for the fish — or our taste buds.
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    Most fish die the same way — slow suffocation in the open air. It’s easy for fishers, but it causes fish tons of stress, and floods their bodies with chemicals like cortisol, adrenaline, and lactic acid. Those chemicals make the fish taste bad, smell “fishy,” and rot quickly. 

    But there's a better way: a four-step Japanese method called ikejime. It involves sharp knives. And a brain spike. 

    We adapted this video from Vox’s Future Perfect podcast, which goes much more in depth on ikejime: 

    Cat Ferguson wrote a detailed article on the process at Topic:

    This article about fish and pain from the Smithsonian informed reporting: 

    And here’s a link to the Ike Jime Federation, where Andrew is the president: is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

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Comments • 9 292

  • Kill Scopes
    Kill Scopes  2 hours back

    3:32 alrighty then

    • A Desiree’
      A Desiree’  3 hours back

      I really feel like it’s better to just cut the head off. That’s what killed them the quickest when I was fishing.

      • Makayla
        Makayla  4 hours back

        Oh frick they used a lobotomy stick

        (I know it’s an ice pick but still)

        • sergio pereira
          sergio pereira  4 hours back

          Just chop the head off,

          • Luis The Boss Vlogs
            Luis The Boss Vlogs  7 hours back

            No fish have been hurt in this vid-

            • Nic Walsh
              Nic Walsh  7 hours back

              That lobotomy

              • Aaly Potatoe
                Aaly Potatoe  8 hours back

                "Warning: This video contains footage of fish being killed"
                The tittle: Okay, Can I not be any clearer?

                • 1nner M0nolouge
                  1nner M0nolouge  8 hours back

                  The right way to get your channel taken down

                  • Christopher Morales
                    Christopher Morales  8 hours back

                    Wait raw fish 🥴

                    • Yaseen sheik
                      Yaseen sheik  11 hours back

                      Just wack it's head

                      • Shmacked Muffins
                        Shmacked Muffins  15 hours back

                        I usually waterboard the fish for a few hours before putting a bullet in its head.

                        • CREEPER AWWW MAN
                          CREEPER AWWW MAN  15 hours back

                          Dayum that rolex though

                          • HvN
                            HvN  17 hours back

                            Vox is hiring too many liberal free thinkers...

                            • MingWLee
                              MingWLee  18 hours back

                              This is a great method to store a fish for days; however, there is another way to have a fresh fish with far less cost than Ikejime. To buy fish alive.
                              Yes, we Chinese always prefers and willing to pay a little extra to buy a fish that is alive. Then the staff will process the fish and we bring it back home for cooking within hours, on freshness of the fish meat, it is nearly the same as Ikejime.
                              By the way, we do not prefer to consume any seafood that sit in the fridge more than a day, we know the taste will be greatly reduce because the chemical the seafood release after death. If there is no option for Ikejime, always buy your seafoods while they are alive.

                              For those who wondering how much would it cost, here are the price when these seafood are in season: (in CAD per pound)
                              Local spot prawn: $13
                              Local Dungeness crab: $7
                              Geoduck A Grade: $15
                              Vary fish: from $8 ~ $20
                              Alaska King crab: $20
                              New Zealand razor clam: $13
                              Scallop: $8 a piece
                              Local Prawn: $11
                              Boston Lobster: $10
                              Manila Clam: $4

                              • Dodge Ram
                                Dodge Ram  20 hours back

                                Club to the forehead.
                                History teaches best.

                                • Flognop
                                  Flognop  21 hours back

                                  Slam it head first on a rock. Works instantly.

                                  • g00kman
                                    g00kman  21 hours back

                                    orrrr you can just whack it and gut it

                                    • Tjk_Prince
                                      Tjk_Prince  21 hours back

                                      Halal fish

                                    • Victor Da Silva
                                      Victor Da Silva  22 hours back

                                      Really vox....kind fish killing ? Wow....🙄

                                      • Sara —
                                        Sara —  23 hours back

                                        Sometimes my dad will just fillet the fish alive

                                        • Sara —
                                          Sara —  23 hours back

                                          My dad always taught me to smash its head with the knife handle until it’s dead

                                          • Fume
                                            Fume  1 days back


                                            • Leslie
                                              Leslie  1 days back

                                              chinese supermarket just grab a big wooden hammer and wack it 4 times until it barely moves

                                              • Madison Stark
                                                Madison Stark  1 days back

                                                Instructions unclear accidentally killed a elephant

                                                • That1RussianDude
                                                  That1RussianDude  1 days back

                                                  “When it’s suffocating it exercising”
                                                  Thanks man, will use.

                                                  • Johnprakash #
                                                    Johnprakash #  1 days back

                                                    The point...
                                                    Brain death is most kind way!🧠👍🏽

                                                    • AVID STINGRAY
                                                      AVID STINGRAY  1 days back

                                                      IN SOME PARALLEL UNIVERSE RULED BY FISH
                                                      "" WARNING:
                                                      THIS VIDEO CONTAINS FOOTAGE OF HUMANS BEING KILLED. ""
                                                      Nemo:- "Still gonna watch, poor humans"

                                                      • the sacred sword
                                                        the sacred sword  1 days back

                                                        Why did she eat the fish raw

                                                        • Aspie Otaku
                                                          Aspie Otaku  1 days back

                                                          Bears dont care as long as they eat the fish, just like most humans.

                                                          • Max Lantajo
                                                            Max Lantajo  1 days back

                                                            I’m sending this video to every vegan I know

                                                            • Caleb Herring
                                                              Caleb Herring  1 days back

                                                              This is like a mortal combat fatality

                                                              • Aileen Amador
                                                                Aileen Amador  1 days back

                                                                Excercise they say , it's healthy they say

                                                                • Name Agree
                                                                  Name Agree  1 days back

                                                                  No animals were harmed during production of this video

                                                                  • specct
                                                                    specct  1 days back

                                                                    idk where it happens but here in georgia we E L E C T R O C U T E them

                                                                    • DarthBane113
                                                                      DarthBane113  1 days back

                                                                      What if it is a fish like a Kingfish or a Barracuda and has a lot of teeth in its mouth and a very bad attitude?

                                                                      • Defender Alt
                                                                        Defender Alt  4 hours back

                                                                        You spike it’s brain still? You don’t have to hold it’s mouth.

                                                                    • Templar Knight
                                                                      Templar Knight  1 days back

                                                                      Why’re you concerned with the mentality of a fish?

                                                                      • Jev of poo
                                                                        Jev of poo  1 days back

                                                                        Or you could just chop its head off.

                                                                        • hop hop
                                                                          hop hop  1 days back

                                                                          Imagine being killed by the Tesla logo

                                                                          • mushroom blin
                                                                            mushroom blin  1 days back

                                                                            just step on its head...

                                                                            • DBR Liamg
                                                                              DBR Liamg  1 days back

                                                                              Just cut the head off of the body.

                                                                              • David Gonzalez
                                                                                David Gonzalez  1 days back


                                                                                • υηκηοωη ββδ
                                                                                  υηκηοωη ββδ  1 days back

                                                                                  1:21 see

                                                                                  • Calum Thatcher
                                                                                    Calum Thatcher  1 days back

                                                                                    I reckon ikejime would be a great application for a robot, horrifying as it might be to have a little roomba with a spike whirring around the boat spiking and slicing fish. More realistically I think you could have a reasonably compact conveyor belt set up with an optical sensor that could ikejime with a decent success rate.

                                                                                    • Joe Mama
                                                                                      Joe Mama  2 days back

                                                                                      Leon trotsky fish
                                                                                      Leon trotsky fish

                                                                                      • ƈǟʀȶɛʀ ʝǟֆքɛʀ ʄɨռռɨƈӄ

                                                                                        GO VEGAN

                                                                                        • Defender Alt
                                                                                          Defender Alt  4 hours back

                                                                                          Nah I don’t like eating grass and dirt sorry

                                                                                      • Infernal Affinity
                                                                                        Infernal Affinity  2 days back

                                                                                        One swift chop from a cleaver, separating head from body on a fish of this size would technically be the quickest and most humane way to end its life.

                                                                                        • Just Joy
                                                                                          Just Joy  2 days back

                                                                                          If oxygen is in water doesn’t that mean the fish breathe in air?

                                                                                          They over exaggerating for nothing 🙄😤

                                                                                        • Gary The Snail
                                                                                          Gary The Snail  2 days back

                                                                                          “This video contains footage of fish being killed”
                                                                                          Ya don’t say.