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Subject: mullet and food
From: stefano mariani <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 8 Dec 2008 13:36:23 +0000

text/plain (64 lines)

Dear all,
i just wish to add a few suggestions regarding the suitability of grey mullets for the kitchen! (and I am pure Italian, so you should trust me on what I say about food...).
Grey mullet CAN be delicious, however, it depends on the species, the time of the year, and the habitats they belong to. Mugil cephalus (flat-headed, adipose-eye classic cosmopolitan mullet), Chelon labrosus ("thick-lipped" mullet) and Liza aurata ("golden" mullet) are the tastiest ones. They are considered a delicacy in some parts of Italy, especially during the COLD season. These animals are very avid feeders and constantly feed on detritus, sediment, filtering selectively at different granulometry, they also ingest a lot of sand/mud (which with the aid of their muscular stomach, facilitates digestion). During the WARM season their bellies are always full, and in constant digestion, and full of microalgae and a lot of dirt and detritus; they can be often seen at sewage discharge points in small harbours. They just keep eating. So you can imagine that during this period their flesh is not great!
however when it's too cold (november to february in Mediterranean areas), they stop eating, so they are "clean" and their flesh is firm, white, flaky and absolutely delicious. Winter is the time for marketing these beasts: they are great baked (with roast potatoes, garlic and rosmary) or on the grill.
I can also confirm, based on personal experience, that if they are caught in "clean" seas, and cleaned/prepared competently, they can also represent a very enjoyable material for a spring/early autumn barbecue.

hope this helps!


----- Original Message -----
From: Judith Weis <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Monday, December 8, 2008 1:01 pm
Subject: Re: Mullet fishery in NSW
To: [log in to unmask]

> I observed a mullet fishery in Louisiana during breeding season 
> about a 
> month ago, in which  both the males and  females had 
> gonads removed and 
> the rest of the fish  were discarded. I was told the flesh 
> was not good 
> because the fish had been putting all their energy into gonad 
> development.But still, it seemed very wasteful that the rest of 
> the fish couldn't have 
> been used for animal feed or something.
> 1880's: "There's lots of good fish in the sea"   W.S. 
> Gilbert1990's:  Many fish stocks depleted due to 
> overfishing, habitat loss,
>           and pollution.
> 2000's:  Marine reserves, ecosystem restoration, and 
> pollution reduction
>           MAY help 
> restore populations.
>                              \ \
>                               \ \ \
>                 - -      _ - \ \ \ \ ----\
>                    - _ -                    \
>                    - -                (   O   \
>                  _ -  -_                   __ /
>                 -       -                    /
>                           -///  _ ______ ___/
>                          ///          /
>     Judith S. Weis, Professor   
> Department of Biological Sciences
>     Rutgers University, Newark NJ 07102  
> [log in to unmask]             Phone: 973 353-5387       FAX 973 353-5518

Dr Stefano Mariani
MARine Biodiversity, Ecology & Evolution
UCD School of Biology & Environmental Science
Science and Education Research Centre (West)
University College Dublin
Dublin 4
Republic of Ireland
tel. +353.1.716.2347
fax. +353.1.716.1153

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