[Coral-List] fish questions from a chef

Tupper, Mark (WorldFish) M.Tupper at CGIAR.ORG
Sat Feb 28 05:47:12 EST 2009

Dear Aurelie,

In answer to you questions:

1. The knobby growths you describe might be hyperosteses (nodules on the bones filled with fatty acids), which are common in Pagrus auratus. Check the following paper for an explanation and pictures: http://fishbull.noaa.gov/881/gauldie.pdf. If you can take a picture next time you see these, it would be helpful.

2. According to a friend of mine who is a fish vendor here in the Philippines, hematomas in tuna are (as you suggest) caused by stress and poor handling. Commonly it occurs when the tuna is not immediately killed and placed on ice, but is instead allowed to flop around on the deck until it dies. Extreme cases will produce a mushy, bruised flesh under the skin. 

3. Can your brother send me a picture of the object found in the sturgeon? It does sound like a tracking device or tag of some sort. I have quite a lot of experience with fish tracking so perhaps I could identify it for you.

Hope this helps,

Mark Tupper

Dr. Mark H. Tupper
Scientist - Coral Reefs and Reef Fisheries
The WorldFish Center
Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov on behalf of Shapiro, Aurelie
Sent: Fri 2/27/2009 11:40 PM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: [Coral-List] fish questions from a chef
>From my brother who's a chef. Anyone have any answers?

I have some fish queries and was wondering if either of you might be able to answer them or find someone who can.

1.Every once and a while, when I am fileting the New Zealand Snapper (Pagrus auratus) sort of a porgy or sea bream, there are a few that have these knobby bony growths on the bones between the spine and the anal spine, usually 2-3, progressively smaller towards the tail.  They are round and smooth and look like big pearly blisters around the bones but are seamless appear to be bone.  I have to cut around them and I lose some flesh.  I would like to know what they are.

2. The past 2 pieces of Big Eye tuna that we have gotten have these flecks of hematoma closest to the skin.  They are about an inch long and cannot be cut or cooked out.  How does a fish get these?  Poor handling, stress or other?

3. I was butchering a wild sturgeon today (at least that is what the invoice says) and when I took the skin off I found what looked like a tiny LED light on my cutting board.  About 3/4 of an inch long and the thickness of a Bic pen ink tube,  It was clear on one side and black on the other and there was what looked like a tiny light in the clear side...sort of like a capsule.  I don't know where else it could have come from.  Could it be a tracking instrument or something?  I kept it.

Thank you.

Aurelie C. Shapiro
Remote Sensing Specialist
World Wildlife Fund - US
1250 24th street NW room 2015A
Washington DC, 20037
*new phone number* 202 495-4183
fax - 202 293-9211

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