Correct bleeding is vital for the quality of the fish, and it should be done as the fish is brought on board. It is important that the fish is bled while still alive: the pumping of the heart and the muscle contractions will then help to empty the blood vessels. Cutting the fish must never begin before the fish is emptied of blood, and the flesh of the fish is nice and white.
To avoid reduced quality caused by blows and bruises, the fish must be handled with care after the bleeding.
There are several bleeding methods. We will illustrate the two cut- and the stabbing methods:
Two cut method
: If you use the two cut method, you first cut the throat. Then you guide the knife diagonally down towards the neck, cutting both main arteries down towards the back.
If you only cut one of these arteries, the fish will be bled only on one side.
: if you use the stabbing method, you stab the knife in right behind the gills, cutting the main arteries. If your stab is aimed in the wrong direction, it can easily damage the heart.
The bleeding tank
The fish must be left to bleed out in running water for at least 15 minutes. To bleed them well, there must be good circulation of running water and not too much fish in the tank. Fish that have died before the bleeding should also be bled, but must be sorted separately.
The following points are important when bleeding fish:
- Bleed immediately with the correct cut
- Avoid damaging the heart
- Let the fish bleed out in running water for at least 15 minutes
Methods for checking the stage of bleeding out in the fish.
If the fish is poorly bled, we can see visible remnants of blood in the flesh.
We will demonstrate three simple methods to check if the fish has been sufficiently bled.
Slide your finger along the natural slit at the back side of the filet. If the veins are filled with blood, the fish has not been bled sufficiently.
Stroke your finger along the ribs down towards the belly. If blood seeps from the veins, the fish has not been bled sufficiently.
Scrape off the black membrane on the inside of the belly. Press your fingers up towards the belly. If there are visibly blood-filled veins in the belly, the fish has not been bled sufficiently. A well-bled fish has a nice, white belly.