Fish Spear

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fish Spear


(in Russian, ostroga), a forked, piercing implement used in fishing. The tines of a fish spear are usually metal; however, wooden or bone tines are used among some peoples. Russian fishermen mounted an iron spear resembling a pitchfork on a slender pole (ratovishche), which was approximately 4 m long. There usually were three tines, but sometimes there were as few as two or as many as 12. Each tine was about 0.25 m long and had a barb to hold the fish securely.

A two-tined spear (sandov’) formerly used in the Caspian Sea for catching sheatfish had an iron ring at the end of the handle with a towline, which was reeled by hand or was attached to the boat. Another variation of the fish spear was a harpoonlike instrument (kutilo) used for hunting various types of sea animals.

In the USSR, spear fishing is illegal.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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