A sudden change of fate came for a fish who was about to become somebody’s dinner in an Italian restaurant in the village of Camogli. While preparing the fish, the staff realized that there was something off – and quickly noticed that the animal was still alive. The story could have easily had a very different ending – but, fortunately, the chef took pity on the fish and decided to put her right back into the sea.

Riccardo Braghieri, owner of Cucù restaurant, saw that the fish’s gills were still opening and closing, The Local reports. The fact the fish was still breathing was remarkable – since, at that point, she had been out of water for several hours and was already placed on a baking tray to be cooked. The fish, a four-pound Grouper, was caught locally earlier that day.


Braghieri turned his friend who happens to be an amateur angler for advice and it was agreed that the fish was still very much alive. The friend happily offered to return her to the sea. The animal was then put into a basin so that she could breathe normally and, finally, released back into the water at Camogli, near Genoa!

Braghieri has shared a video of the fish on Facebook and said that the release would not have happened “without her tenacity and desire to live.” The clip has already been viewed over 5,000 times.


The fish’s celebrity is not limited to social media, her story has been covered by some of the country’s largest newspapers, including the Corriere della Sera and La Stampa. The lucky fish was even given a name by the restaurant staff – Marta, after a hen from an Italian comic book series. In the books, the hen is the subject of a series of kidnapping attempts by a wolf – but always comes out unscathed thanks to a sheepdog who saves her life every time.

While this particular fish is clearly an exception in the restaurant, we hope she can help change the hearts and minds of those who continue to serve and consume fish. Many studies have found that fish do indeed feel and possess cognitive abilities, yet they continue to be treated like lifeless commodities. If that’s not enough to convince people to leave fish off the menu, what about the fact that scientists have predicted our global fish stocks are set to collapse by 2048 due to rampant overfishing? By simply choosing to not consume seafood, you can help save 225 fish every single year and help protect the delicate ocean ecosystem. Just some food for thought – be sure to pass it on!


To learn more about the state of our oceans, check out this recent interview with Captain Paul Watson on the #EatForThePlanet with Nil Zacharias podcast:

Image source: Riccardo Braghieri/Facebook