Unfortunately, we've seen our fair share of marine life in need of rescue from discarded fishing gear, but this pair of porcupine fish are certainly not your typical damsels in distress. 

Without scissors or a knife in hand, a volunteer with conservation organisation Core Sea managed to think on his feet to release the tangled fish using a broken bottle to cut the line. As you can see, rescuing a swimming "pincushion" is careful work, and should only be attempted by experienced handlers.

Commonly called blowfish, porcupinefish are not actually true "pufferfish." Unlike their body-inflating kin, whose spikes are thin and small, these larger fish boast an arsenal of prominent, tough spines. This effective defence system means porcupinefish have few predators, but as you can imagine, all of those appendages make the likelihood of getting tangled much greater.

Core Sea, who carry out marine research and conservation projects in southeast Asia, assured concerned Facebook fans that they will go back out to retrieve the net.

It's likely that what we're seeing is a male and female pair, but contrary to some reports, this doesn't mean the fish are bonded for life. Porcupinefish are usually solitary and are only seen in pairs or small groups when mating. Whether or not this duo stuck together after the ordeal remains a mystery!


Top header image: gary powell/Flickr