Fish Skeleton Tattoo Meaning

The fish skeleton is one of the oldest tattoo designs.

While fish tattoos are common in many cultures and communities, the skeleton is more peculiar and personal to the wearer.

Fish skeleton tattoo meaning could vary for women and men depending on the design, fish species, and additional details.

Fish Skeleton Tattoo Meaning

The fish has been a vital animal with a lot of significance to humans since prehistoric times. Fish is connected to water, which symbolizes knowledge, unconsciousness, and mysteries. In this case, fish represents independence, unconsciousness of feelings and motives, and steadfast movement. Fish tattoos could mean a wide range of things depending on the species, color, style, and character of the wearer.

Unlike fish tattoos, a fish skeleton carries more personal meaning to the person who has tattooed it. A simple design could have more profound meaning than you would ever imagine. The type of fish you choose to represent with the skeleton speaks volumes about the owner. A complex seahorse design could give a more refined and elegant look, while a simplistic typical fish skeleton looks masculine. Fishbone tattoos can mean any of the following things:

Strength and Resilience

Many people ink fishbone tattoos to symbolize durability, strength and tenacity. When you eat a fish carefully, the bones remain intact and attached to the head and tail. This represents the idea of being resilient during difficult times, as seen in its use as a metaphor. Similarly, some people tattoo it to honor loved ones who have battled life-threatening illnesses such as cancer. Fishbone tattoos remind us that we can overcome any difficulties thrown at us.


Fishbone tattoos are somehow linked to religion and spirituality. This is referenced in the Bible when Jesus fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish. Jesus multiplied this food, and it fed everyone until some was left. In this sense, this tattoo represents a person’s resourcefulness or the little things you have. It also signifies faith in God’s providence, which is very important for Christians.


Fish skeletons may look useless since the meat is removed, but they are helpful in composting and even as fishing baits. Therefore, this tattoo reminds us not to despise anyone or anything or take them for granted. They might just be as valuable, which perfectly represents the life cycle.

A half-fish skeleton tattoo, mainly with the upper part of the body intact, symbolizes transformation or change. Some people also view it as a sign of new beginnings in life. Whatever your reason for getting a fish tattoo is, do comprehensive research to help you identify a design that matches your intentions and personality.

Why Fish Skeleton Tattoos Are Popular

Fishbone tattoos are one of the oldest tat designs used by body art enthusiasts. A large number of people tattoo it as it bears many symbolisms. This tattoo design is particularly popular with people connected to the sea. These could be fishermen, sailors or anyone who adores the sea and its activities.

Fish skeleton tattoos are also an original masterpiece of different cultures, such as the Hawaiian and Japanese. Many people ink it as a show of belonging to a particular community. In all the communities featured, the fish symbol represents something unique to the community members and significant in different ways. Its link to spirituality also has seen many people go for it to show their belief in God.

With this tattoo, wearers get endless possibilities of designs to ink on their bodies. For instance, a simple, minimalistic fishbone design that looks like an arrow shows decisiveness and commitment to life goals. Remember, just a tiny tweak of the design can affect its overall meaning. You can also choose a color that goes well with your design- it doesn’t have to be plain black like most other tattoos.

Fish skeletons have also been featured in different logos across the world. Common logos depicted by different fish bones include the G.Loomis (a fishing gear company), Jolly Fish (Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster), and the band Fishbone- a band that plays Rock-Ska-Punk-Funk music. Some people draw this tattoo for any of these reasons, to show their support for their cause.

Who is Fish Skeleton Tattoo For?

The religious aspect of fishbone tattoos makes it a go-to design for Christians who want to show their faith in God. You can use it to encourage and remind you that God will always provide whatever you need at all times. You only need to believe and proclaim it.

Are you going through hard times in life, or have you battled something until you overcame it? If yes, this could be your best choice of tattoo to show resilience and strength. It will always remind you that you can overcome any adversities life throws at us.

If you love sea activities or are perhaps involved in some, you can get this tattoo to show this. There’s no better way to maintain the connection between you and the sea than tattooing this incredible piece. You can have it close to the heart to show that you feel at home by the sea.

As mentioned before, this tattoo shows the eternal cycle of life. If you’re looking for something to represent this life cycle, a fish skeleton tattoo could be a meaningful design that will explain this without words.

Best Placement for Fish Skeleton Tattoo

The best location to tattoo a fish skeleton will depend on where the owner wants it and the selected design. There are simple and discreet designs that you can place on the arm, wrist, neck, ankle, leg and thighs. Some designs are pretty large, with details and can be drawn on the back, arm, chest, breast and stomach.


Fish have been an essential part of human life since ancient times. Fish tattoos represent different things that vary according to culture. On the other hand, Fishbone tattoos bear a more personal meaning to the wearer. They are used to show strength, faith, gratitude, and resourcefulness. Be careful when choosing a fish skeleton tattoo design since a small mistake could see you have a symbol that means a totally different thing than you intended.

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About the author

I’m S.R Bhuiyan, a proud Tattoo artist. I will share the body art journey with you here in PrettyJust. I have 10+ years of experience in the field of tattoo, piercing, nail art, and skincare. Check out my bio which has my tattoo studio/cat/travel pics!

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