By Gabriela Hogue
As we steam back to port, the crew took full advantage of the time – fishing. The line was out for quite a while and then something got hooked. We all headed to the back deck to see what would be coming up. Tim Olsen, Chief Engineer, was working the line and Joe Clark, Junior Engineer was patiently waiting with a fishing gaff. Don’t worry; other engineers were on duty and handling the engines. Then a Wahoo surfaced.
The Wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri) is a prized sport fish because of its speed and high-quality flesh. It is covered in very small scales and has beautiful blue and silver coloration.
Before Bob Burroughs, 2nd Cook, and Lito Llena, Chief Steward, came out to fillet it,
I was able to get a piece of the right pelvic fin clip and preserve it 95% ethanol. This fin clip will become a part of the tissue collection of the Fishes Unit at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. We have been collecting tissue for many years. Usually, tissue is linked to a vouchered whole specimen but this will be linked to a picture of the specimen. This fin clip can be used for DNA analysis and is large enough that I will be able to loan out pieces of it many times over. Most tissue loans consist of tissue pieces that are smaller than a grain of rice. That’s right, researchers can get a ton of information from the smallest little piece. It’s amazing.
After the chefs had filleted Tim’s Wahoo, we checked out some very strange parasites that they had found in the gut. The conversation switched to how awesome it would be to have some sashimi right then and there. Well, out came a knife and the sashimi party started. We all agreed that it was wonderful. Leave it to a bunch of folks on a research vessel to be able to eat part of a fish while the parasites wriggle in the background!