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August 26, 2013

By Gabriela Hogue

Tim and Joe fishing off the stern.

Tim and Joe fishing off the stern.

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.

Tim and the Wahoo

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.

colorsTim was pretty excited about his catch, which measured 4 feet 3 inches. We are all pretty excited too, because the chefs were going to prepare it for dinner!

Before Bob Burroughs, 2nd Cook, and Lito Llena, Chief Steward, came out to fillet it,

Gabriela takes a fin sample for DNA work. Photo by Art Howard

Gabriela takes a fin clip for DNA work.
Photo by Art Howard

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.

Gabriela and sushiAfter 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!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 26, 2013 10:18 pm

    Well…the parasites were in the gut and not in the muscle flesh…I HOPE! Sashimi that was REALLY fresh and all you needed was a bottle of soy sauce, a spoonful of wasabi and a bit of pickled ginger. Yum!! In my science classroom, we had a unit called SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS YOU CAN EAT. The crew gets an A+.

    • lizbaird permalink
      August 26, 2013 10:41 pm

      The chef on board took the fresh fish and prepared a wonderful sauce with soy sauce/wasabi/ginger and sesame. He sliced the fish thinly and served it at dinner as well as lightly broiling some too. Everyone enjoyed it. And just as we were eating dinner Tim caught a Big Eye Tuna – it is on ice and will be lunch for tomorrow!

  2. Jennifer Wise permalink
    August 27, 2013 12:32 am

    This was interesting and mouth-watering at the same time.

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