Man killed by needlefish

b1ca2287-ab47-490e-8f47-7013766a8559

Editor's Picks
Features Post
The brightest pupils
04 October 2021
Features Post
Dealing with egg ‘fungus’
04 October 2021
Features Post
Rathbun’s tetra in the wild
13 September 2021
Fishkeeping News Post
Report: 2021 BKKS National Koi Show results
13 September 2021
Features Post
The World's forgotten fishes
16 August 2021


A fisherman in the Philippines has been killed by a leaping needlefish.

Jesus Guerrero was fishing off Sitio Gapuh early Tuesday morning when a needlefish, known locally as 'balu', jumped out of the water and impaled itself in his throat.

He managed to pull the 30cm/12" fish out, but died minutes later, despite attempts by his son and brother to save him.

Needlefish swim near the water surface and are capable of making short leaps out of the water. Their sharp beaks can inflict nasty puncture wounds on unfortunate divers and fishermen who happen to be in the way.

In 2007, a 16-year-old boy died after being stabbed through the heart by a 90cm/3' needlefish while diving in northern Vietnam. It's thought the fish might have been startled by the boy, accidentally stabbing him as it tried to escape.

In 2009 a man was left with the 'beak' of a needlefish stuck in his face after it leapt from waters in the Mediterranean basin and struck him below the nose, piercing his nasal cavity. And in 2004 a needlefish jumped from the sea in Guadeloupe and impaled a man in his eye socket.

Why not take out a subscription to Practical Fishkeeping magazine? See our latest subscription offer.

Don't forget that PFK is now available to download on the iPad.