We have a question about desalinating water while stranded at sea, and another that asks if you can get desalinated water from eating fish.

However, even if you could get desalinated water from fish which, how likely is it that one would be able to catch enough fish to keep from starving?

There are plenty of stories of castaways on the ocean who starved or resorted to cannibalism.

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    The sea is pretty darn big. Some has fish and some does not. Even if it has fish you may not have the right gear for that fish. There is no single answer. Too broad.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 14:56
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    To commenters and close voters: Please take notice of the tags and the scenario and think within the likely context. The drifter likely has no commercial or professional fishing equipment, but probably either has or can improvise some simple equipment whether that be a rod or something else. Catching fish is a highly variable thing even for professionals, yes, but it is still consistent enough to say "You should be able to catch something" or "With a cheap rod or improvised gear, you might get something, but definitely not enough to stave off hunger"
    – Loduwijk
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 17:08
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    I voted to leave this open, it seems reasonable to assume that a general statement about, presence of fish in the ocean can be provided, even if that statement only explains why it not practical to give a general answer. Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 17:09
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    Despite my previous comment, I would like to point out that the news articles which prompted the recent "adrift at sea" questions was about a boy who survived 49 days at sea on fish, but his raft was actually part of a commercial fishing operation and accidentally detached from it, so the boy was adrift on a commercial fishing vessel even if of a primitive nature. So that event does not work here.
    – Loduwijk
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 17:26
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    @paparazzo If you know that for a fact, that a casual or hobby fisherman with a basic set of equipment cannot catch fish from the ocean, and that improvised gear definitely cannot do so, then that is a valid answer to the question. Especially if you can provide evidence or citations supporting that claim.
    – Loduwijk
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 18:32

1 Answer 1


It depends on your lure/bait, if you have. Fishing is also a lot about luck. Right fish, right lure/bait, you could get one.

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