Fish found breathing on baking tray rescued from diners

A fish destined for the plates of hungry diners has had a narrow escape after a chef in an Italian restaurant took pity when he noticed it was still alive as he was about to place it in the oven.

Staff at the  Cucù restaurant in Camogli, a fishing village and tourist resort near Genoa, spotted the grouper fish still opening and closing its gills, seemingly gasping for breath, as it was laying on a baking tray.

Riccardo Braghieri, the restaurant owner, chose to spare the grouper, tossing it back in the sea. He posted a video on Facebook of the live fish in the restaurant, which went on to receive more than 6,000 views. On the video he wrote: "We are all happy . . . some would call it a miracle."

The 2-kilogram grouper had been out of water for several hours before alarming staff in the restaurant. Staff nicknamed the finned survivor Marta, after a hen in an Italian comic book who is saved by a sheepdog from a wolf.

Mr Braghieri’s friend, an amateur angler who happened to be dining in the restaurant at the time, agreed that the fish was still alive and should be rescued. Marta was placed in a basin to allow her to breathe normally before being released back into the sea.

Marta’s reprieve comes just over a week after a fish seemingly ‘came back to life’ on a tray served to guests at a restaurant in southern China.

Horrified guests captured a video of the fried fish which twitched and flailed around on the serving tray.

The video, in which an alarmed woman is heard screaming "Oh no, no, no! It’s cracking!" as the fish appears to revive in front of her, has since been uploaded onto the Chinese social media site Weibo.

However, according IFLScience, the fried fish was an example of a phenomenon common in dead fish, where "the brain and heart are not functioning, but cells can still respond to stimuli."

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