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Carp calendar manufacturer ends debate over whether fish are dead or alive in shoots

Carp calendar manufacturer ends debate over whether fish are dead or alive in shoots

Scantily clad women pose with the fish each year - but how? And also... why?

At LADbible Towers, we are lucky enough to receive gifts from benevolent businesses every Christmas: festive bakes, jumpers, booze - that kind of thing.

But the one delivery that truly indicates that we're rapidly encroaching on a new year is the Carponizer calendar.

Each year it splashes down in our office, sparking questions such as 'why?' and 'how?'.

In lots of the photos, the carp look pretty lifeless as the models appear to hold them with minimal effort.

Every year.

So are the fish killed for the photo shoot? That seems a bit weird if so.

Then again, is it any less weird for a woman to strip down to her birthday suit and pose with a live fish? And what on Earth do the fish themselves make of all this?

Rather than endlessly discuss these enormous questions around our desks for yet another year, I decided to get in touch with Carponizer and get some answers.

Carpe diem, and all that.

Hendrik Pöhler founded the calendar back in 2014 and told us they've become known and loved across the world.

Shooting takes place at Lake Fishabil, in Brittany, France, and Hendrik made it clear they have a catch - pose with - and release policy.

That one doesn't look particularly alive.

"The fish are of course alive and are not killed for the shoot, but released back into the water after the shoot," he told LADbible.

As any angler can tell you, it can be hard keeping hold of a fish at the best of times - never mind while posing seductively in a bikini.

Unsurprisingly then, shooting can be delayed by escapees.

"The carp are slimy and wet, it is not easy to hold it," he explained. "So that the fish is doing well, we have to keep it wet at all times. Also the carp are very heavy.

"If the fish escapes from us, then we won't get it back either. But we have enough anglers at the lake, so we can switch to an alternative, but the carp must also be perfect. We don't take every carp.

"We try to have variety of both the carp and the models."

As for why the carp calendar has proven so popular, Hendrik reckons it was always going to be a formula for success.

That's definitely a heavy one.

"What goes best with good looking carp?" he asked. "Scantily clad women, of course," he answered.

He added that even the carp 'would like to hang a calendar in the lake'; unsurprisingly though, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) see it very differently indeed.

PETA's Vice President of Programmes, Elisa Allen, told LADbible that the Carponizer calendar caters to 'sociopaths', arguing that it is impossible for it be made without harming the fish.

"Whoever made this calendar seems to be appealing to the same type of sociopaths who find sexual excitement in snuff porn," she said.

"Despite the company's claim to the contrary, it's simply not possible to take these photos without causing serious – or even fatal – harm to the animals involved.

"Fish thrash and struggle to breathe when they're pulled out of the water. When they're handled, the protective coating on their bodies is disturbed, and the majority of those who are thrown back into the water after being caught die soon after."

PETA said the calendar is for 'sociopaths'.

She added: "Fish are not sporting equipment or photo props – they're individuals with distinct personalities and complex social structures.

"Thankfully, most people have a 'live and let live' attitude and would far rather hang up a PETA calendar, which promotes kindness to animals, instead."

Despite Elisa's claims to the contrary, Hendrik insisted the calendars were not harmful to the carp.

"The health of the fish is our top priority during the shoot," he said.

"We are not aware of any carp dying after the shooting as a result of the shooting. Catch and release is very common among anglers in the UK."

So, I'll just leave it to you to decide whether you'd rather track your 2023 with a PETA calendar or the Carponizer calendar... Or any other calendar, for that matter.

Featured Image Credit: Carponizer

Topics: Animals, Fishing, Weird