Jamie Morton

Jamie Morton is science reporter at the NZ Herald.

Fisherman defends 'humane' marlin-bashing

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

A game fisherman is set to go on radio to defend the baseball-bat killing of a 325kg blue marlin after media coverage sparked outrage.

Keith "Wolfy" Wolfsbauer of Te Awamutu says he is aware of the reaction to the killing during the One Base Fishing Tournament at Tauranga, and has agreed to go on NewstalkZB at the weekend to discuss it.

Mr Wolfsbauer was with a group of fishermen who hauled the marlin aboard their boat, where it knocked two of them off their feet and took chunks out of the woodwork during a 20-minute struggle.

Once the fish had eventually settled, a baseball bat was used to kill it with a single blow to the head.

Mr Wolfsbauer said striking what he called the marlin's "sweet spot" was the most humane method of killing it, and was a common practice among big-game fishermen. "There's no other way ... You can't stab them with a knife. That does nothing."

In contests, fishermen were also usually prohibited from causing physical damage to fish, he said.

"People might think you can bash the shit out of them, but you can't. If you go back and the weighmaster sees all the damage, they'll say, 'Sorry, you're gone.' You'll get disqualified straight away."

- NZ Herald

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