Friday, July 29, 2011

Striped Bass Dissection and Whale Watching

Wednesday we examined a striped bass. The bass was caught by Prof. Berman from his boat at the mouth of the Charles River. This particular fish was caught in brackish water. The first part of the dissection we looked over the fish, the fish was silver and blue, and had a unique stripe pattern going down the length of their body. After we examined the exterior of the fish, we began the filleting process. The first fillet we were very careful not cut open the stomach and thus damaging the meat. After taking out the fillet we de-skinned the fillet. Once the fillets were removed we began dissecting the intestines. We looked inside the stomach and found a few bits of a crab shell, then we examined the liver and kidneys. The fishes liver closely resembles human organs. Then I removed the eye ball and examined the ocular nerve that also closely resembles a humans eye.

After cutting up the fish and removing the organs and fillets Prof. Berman prepared some sevichi and small sushi cutlets. The sevichi was prepared with lime, garlic, parsley, and peppers. These ingredients really made the fish tasty. The second meal was little cutlets of fish that we dipped in soy sauce, ginger, and wasabi. This is the first time I have ever ate striped bass and I was surprised at white texture and great taste. This was truly a treat.

On Thursday we went on a whale watching tour on Stellwagen bank off Cape Cod. We got on the boat around 10:00am and took an 1 hour trip to the bank off Provincetown. When we arrived at the southeast corner of the bank I could already see the spouts from the Minky whale. This was the only one we of that species that we saw, and its a smaller whale by comparison to the Humpback. After cruising around the bank we spotted three Humpbacks together and two of their names were Duckfin and Cajun. These whales are able to be identified by their distinct marking on their tales. The curator told that all the whales on Stellwagen bank have names and are able to be identified by their tales. We saw about 6 more humpbacks around and these whales were actively feeding and their was constant excitement around the boat. While we were heading into Boston we saw a whale breach and flap its pectoral fins in wave pattern. This was a great end of the day.

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