The original award-winning NEFSC FishFAQ, created in 1993, has been archived.
For current information, please see our new FAQ.

What kind of fish is a "Bombay Duck"?

Also called bummalo, Bombay Duck is a marine lizardfish from southern Asia, particularly abundant in the Ganges Delta and the Arabian Sea of western India. The ordinarily small fish is split, boned, and sun-dried, and used as a condiment.

How much electricity does an electric eel generate?

electirc eel The average discharge is more than 350 volts, but discharges as high as 650 volts have been measured. Voltage increase until the eel is about three feet long, after which only amperage increases. Some South American eels measure 10 feet in length.

What are moray eels and where are they found?

Moray eels belong to a family of fish which differs from the common eels by their lack of side fins, their well-developed teeth, and their lack of scales. Common eels have embedded scales, but these are not readily noticeable. Morays occur in tropical and subtropical seas of the world. In the United States. they are usually found in quantity only in Florida waters, although they have been seen as far north as North Carolina and even New Jersey.

Little is known of their breeding habits except that the young pass through a stage which is very thin, ribbonlike, and transparent. Morays feed largely on other fish caught as they work their way through coral reefs. Some morays are equipped with teeth in the back of the mouth for crushing hard-shelled animals such as clams and oysters. Morays are occasionally caught on hook and moray eel

Morays are occasionally caught on hook and line by fishermen, sometimes are captured by trawlers that drag nets over the bottom. People in some parts of the world value the moray as food. Some Pacific morays measure as long as 10 feet and are considered dangerous to man when aggressions are aroused, generally by divers' actions. Several records exist of attacks on humans by wounded morays.

What is pearl essence?

atlantic herring
It is the silvery substance in the skin of herring and other fishes. Pearl essence is a lucrative byproduct of herring fisheries inasmuch as it is essential to the manufacture of lipstick, nail polish, paints, ceramics, and costume jewelry.

Is the blue shark really blue?

blue shark
Blue Shark Fian Arroyo

In life the blue shark displays a brilliant blue color on the upper portion of its body and is normally snowy white beneath. The blue quickly fades to dull grey after the shark is killed. The mako and porbeagle sharks also exhibit a blue coloration, but it is not nearly as brilliant as that of a blue shark. In life most sharks are brown, olive, or grayish.

If sharks have cartilage instead of bones how can they fossilize?

Yes, shark skeletal systems ARE composed of cartilage, the clear gristly stuff that your ears and nose tip are made of. And, you are correct that in its pure form, it doesn't fossilize. most sharks age, they deposit calcium salts in their skeletal cartilage to strengthen it. The dried jaws of a shark appear and feel heavy and solid; much like bone. These same minerals allow most shark skeletal systems to fossilize quite nicely. The teeth have enamel so they show up in the fossil record too.

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