Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stripe Bass

Friday was our Snails to Whales last class and we were able to not only discuss the most common fish in New England but we were also able to cut open, dissect, and eat our classes stripe bass. However before the knives were taken out of the box we discussed as a class the importance of saving this beautiful fish. Not to long ago the stripe bass was very close to becoming extinct, which to me is unthinkable. Like many recreational fisherman in Massachusetts my favorite fish to catch during the summer is the stripe bass, and to lose this fish because over fishing would be tragic not just for the sport, but because this fish is unlike any other and it is such important creature in the ocean food chain.

Professor Berman told us that before they changed the law every state had its own rules and regulations about recreational and commercial fishing. Looking at these rules now its pretty pathetic to put these in place and not team up as states because the stripe bass like many other fish in the sea does not stay in one place. They migrate from the tip of northern Maine to the coast of Virginia. To have so many different rules just does not make sense. With the help of some very smart groups of people luckily we were able to save the stripe bass population from dwindling down any lower. Just as planned after five years of banned stripe bass fishing there was a massive population increase. Today though it seems that we are begging to see the population decreasing again. With the knowledge that we have it is our job to  make sure we the stripe bass population doesn't fall again.

Now to the good stuff. After our discussion we made our way over to a much better suited classroom for dissecting our stripe bass. We first rubbed our fingertips up and down the fish to feel the smoothness as you went from head to tail, and the sharpness from tail to head. The fish had a slime like texture that helps protect its body from the ocean. Then we looked at its eye ball and noticed that it was still clear meaning its freshness and that most likely had been caught only a few hours before our dissection. Then the Professor made a small incession cut down the backbone of the fish. After it was finally open we found small bits of fish remnants in the stomach of the striper. The large and small intestines were clearly identified and we were able to touch and feel the texture these organs.

After we cleaned up the fish we were able to eat the filet, which clearly was very good because almost every piece was gone within minutes. When I arrived back to my dorm friday night I decided that I would try to put my filet into the oven and cook the fish. Being the great cook that I am....... I put on some pepper and salt on my small pieces and left the fish in the oven for 30 minutes on the dot. I noticed very quickly that I overcooked my meal but nonetheless I continued. I took a lemon and tried to  squeeze as much juice out as possible. After I dipping my burnt salt and pepper filet I dipped the fish in lemon juice and ate my wonderful creation. I found out that I am not the best cook however I was very entertained about my whole experience in trying to cook my fish.

This class has been very enjoyable and I have definitely learned more then I ever expected to. I am extremely thankful for taking Snails to Whales and hope the best for all of you. Thank you for making the classes remember full and exciting.  

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