As the name of this utensil indicates, it is used to remove scales by running the serrated blades along the fish, from its tail to it head. Scaling and gutting are part of the essential preparations before cooking fish.
There are thousands of species of saltwater and freshwater fish. When cooking and eating them, freshness is key to ensuring their quality. Preparing a whole fresh fish requires knowledge of the type of fish and a certain amount of dexterity. It is even more important when it is to be eaten raw, as the Japanese do with their sushi and sashimi.
Fishing was an essential source of food in Prehistory and became a commercial activity in Antiquity. Deep-sea fishing first emerged in the 15th century, but really took off with the arrival of steam boats in the 19th century. The more powerful trawlers were able to pull larger nets. Recreational fishing, reserved for the wealthy classes in the 18th century, became more accessible as technological advances enabled better equipment to be produced at a lower cost.