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There are several answers on this website about the symbolism of the fish if you look up those answers. However, an allegory is also about the use of symbols in telling the story. Since the fish can be seen as a symbol of Christianity (answer to one of the questions on the website), we can assume that allegorically Santiago is taking the "Christian journey" through his life as he learns more life lessons. The fish is the symbol of sacrifice in this journey, and perhaps we can consider that the fish has saved Santiago through his own sacrifice. The fish, in its relative gentleness, is not forcing Santiago to take this journey, but is guiding him to the new learning that he takes with him when he returns to the shore.