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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fish in an Agricultural field in Ireland

Read an interesting news ! – Both fish and Marine enthuse me and it was about transportation of fish.

We do see many trucks on road, especially near fishing harbour transporting fish and other sea food.  They would be refrigerated trucks as even dead fish would be kept frozen to ensure that they remain good till they reach the destination for processing.  On the other hand transportation of live fish requires oxygen for respiration and removal of the toxic gases and by-products that accumulate, such as CO2 and ammonia.  Understand that  most finfish are transported live in water supersaturated with oxygen and kept at a temperature low enough to reduce their metabolism. Fish is often starved (also called conditioned) before transportation to reduce its metabolism and increase the packing density. Crustaceans are transported live in wet packages using wet sawdust or other ways to keep the atmosphere surrounding the live animals humid and cool.

There are hundreds of varieties and Mackerel is a commonly known one.  In Tamil perhaps it is ‘illa (eye-la) or kanang kelluthi’. The mackerel is a fish of the open sea; while numbers of them, small ones especially, often enter estuaries and harbors in search of food, they never run up into fresh water. Neither are they directly dependent either on the coastline or on the bottom in any way at any stage in their lives.  Their normal range seems not to extend oceanward beyond the upper part of the continental slope, in which they contrast with their relatives the tunas, the bonitos, and the albacores.

Mackerel, in fact  is a common name applied to a number of different species of fish, mostly, but not exclusively, from the amily Scombridae. They may be found in all tropical and temperate seas. Most live offshore in the oceanic environment but a few, like the Spanish mackerel, enter bays and can be caught near bridges and piers. Common features of mackerel are a slim, cylindrical shape (as opposed to the tunas which are deeper bodied) and numerous finlets on the dorsal andventral sides behind the dorsal and anal fins. The scales are extremely small, if present. The largest species called "mackerel" is the king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla) which can grow to 66 inches (1.68 m). A female mackerel lays about one million eggs at a time.

Shearwater, tuna, dolphins, whales, orca, seagulls, marlins, sharks, and humans may hunt mackerel. Mackerel are prized (and are highly harvested) for their meat, which is often very oily. They are known for their fighting ability, and are an important recreational and commercial fishery.

A truck carrying loads of mackerel ploughed off the road, overturned and spilled in Northern Ireland.  The farmer’s field was strewn with fish – the quantity makes it hit the headlines – it was 20 tonnes of fish !

Daily Mail reports that a farmer was understandably left fed up to the gills by the sight of fish after a staggering 20 tonnes of mackerel spilled onto his land from an overturned lorry.  It was travelling towards Ardglass in County Down, Northern Ireland, last week when it appeared to have caught a grass verge, ploughed through 30 yards of hedge and fallen into a field belonging to Gordon Flinn, 71. A digger and a crane were called in as 12 men worked for seven hours straight in a ‘large scale’ clean-up operation following the accident. The fish measured two-feet deep in places.  The driver had hit a verge and the fish had come down on the hedge, destroying it and spilling them all into my field.

Photo courtesy :

The farmer upon getting a call from Police about an accident at his field was expecting to see boxes of fish fingers but it was totally unexpected sight with thousands of fishes all over the land.  It reportedly took seven hours to clean the fish.  The owner was quoted as saying that : ‘The one really bizarre thing was though, is that there wasn’t a smell of fish. I think there was more than enough to feed the 5,000.

The driver was initially taken to hospital, but seems to have had a lucky escape and later returned to the scene uninjured to drive the digger and help the rescue operation.

With regards
S. Sampathkumar.


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