Saturday, December 24, 2005


After 3 and a half months without a bite, I finally pulled a decent-sized female greenling in off the Slip Point beach. Fish haven't been biting all over the straits and into the ocean, so this one was a bit of a surprise.

She looked a bit odd. Her golden back was nearly red and the light places on her gill covers and belly were more white than the usual yellow.

When I opened her up, her flesh was bright blue. Not the usual greenish-blue of a greenling, but bright chemical blue. Her stomach was pale artificial blue and very stiff. In fact, everything in her except her heart and liver was like hard plastic. It was like cutting into Cyber-Fish.

Her fillets, after two days soaking in milk, came out nice and white, but the milk was chemical blue. We ate the fillets anyway. They cooked up lovely white and tasted great. No ill effects.

No one I described her to could explain why a fish might be bright light blue, until Dan and I were out cutting wood with Tim van Riper. He said that the divers around here sometimes illegally use copper sulphate crystals to drive octopodi out of their holes in the rocks. This greenling, in her foraging for crustaceans on the reef, had probably swallowed one of the crystals.

At least now we know.

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