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Nothing meagre about a rare whopper at Brixham fish market

By This is Devon  |  Posted: August 13, 2010

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A RARE fish sparked a bidding war at Brixham fish market yesterday when a South Devon skipper netted the 6ft 6in specimen off Portland Bill.

Half a dozen fish merchants vied to buy the whopping 25kg (55lb) meagre fish caught by skipper Dave Wilson on board Propitious.

This type of fish is so rare in British waters, the meagre caught by Dave is only the third netted here since 1998, and the biggest.

The bidding war, led by Brixham Trawler Agents head auctioneer Barry Young, was eventually won by Robert Simonetti of Brixham- based Roberts Fisheries, who paid £150 for the fish.

Robert has sold it to a Cornish fish merchant who in turn has sold it to a top restaurant in the north of England.

Robert said: "It is very rare fish that's usually found in the Mediterranean. I think it's quite a pretty fish. It's got silvery coloured big scales.

"It's a white fish, a bit like sea bass, and I asked the merchant to cut it up so I can taste a bit because I've never actually tried it.

"It's great it was caught by a local fisherman — we always like to see something different.

"Brixham has a diverse fishery — we get a lot of different types of fish here and to see another type is just fantastic.

"It's difficult to say what it's worth because we haven't got a track record.

"A few people bid for it. I probably would have paid up to £300 for it, even if I had to sell it on a cost price,

"It would have been worth it just for the novelty value."

The fish is so unusual in these waters, the Brixham-based Marine Management Organisation asked Dave to hold off selling it for a day to enable them to identify its exact species.

Marine officer Beshlie Pool said: "Dave phoned our office to see if it was something he could sell or not because it's a huge fish and he'd never seen one like it before.

"We are 90 per cent sure it is a meagre fish but we wanted to a final identification from an expert at the Marine Fish Information Services.

"Meagre are rare in these waters although they are quite common in the Med. We think it was just randomly out of its range.

"Apparently, they taste really nice. They're quite a big thing in Turkey so next time I go, I'll make sure I have one."

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    brixham21, brixham  |  January 17 2011, 9:48PM

    Nothing rare about this fish, they catch tons of them in the med.So dont get upset,only person that should be upset is the fisherman. Who got half what the buyer could of paid for it.Nothing new though. Why should buyers make the same profit as the fisherman on that fish ,he was so lucky to catch?

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    Andy Horton, Shoreham-by-Sea  |  August 22 2010, 11:18AM

    The name Meagre was a silly mistake!

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    David O'Neill, Mid atlantic US  |  August 21 2010, 8:28PM

    Folks. I have to object to the tone of several of the posts above as illogical. You will probably not like what I have to say, but please give these ideas some thought. The law allows wild fishing and nets kill fish. When a rare fish wanders north and gets caught, in a net, throwing it back is wasteful and, in some people's view, unethical because a life has been taken and the protein value wasted. Humans evolved as hunters, fishers and gatherers. There is ample archeological evidence to support this. The position that mankind should somehow be superior to that reality is a nice idea but may well be based on wishful thinking rather than our biological heritage. Even if there were some ethical superiority to vegitarianism, vegetarians also hurt other species. Farm land is taken at the expense of the native plants and animals so there is little reason for even Vegans to feel all that superior to fishers and hunters. All humans exist at the expense of other species although it is true that locovore vegans may have less impact than others but even locovore omnivory based on harvesting the surplus of local herbivores or limited farming of grazing animals without much, if any, supplemental feed, might be even more practical and low impact. The logical implication is that the only ethical approach is to work towards limiting human population so that our species does not eliminate others. Simply put, there is only so much land, water and solar energy to go around and has human population explodes, it is inevitable that we do so at the cost of other species. If we simultaneously work to develop reserves of quality habitat where fishing, hunting,agriculture and all other human activities are proscribed including fishing, aquaculture (extremely ecologically dangerous by the way) and agriculture (including silvamonoculture.) If coupled with sustainable agriculture, sustainable energy and resource use, leaving large sections of the planet untouched provides the best chance of survival for most of the species that we are driving to the brink of extinction.

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    X, torbay  |  August 13 2010, 9:31PM

    its no longer a fish now is it. Disgusting destroying an incredibly intteligent life form all to end up on a supermarket shelf. WE should only be fishing for food that is ordered not just to line supermarket shelves. DO you realize how much of this is thrown away. the spiritual consequences of murdering other species is terrible. If we eat food that has suffered then those who consume that food will be putting bad energy into ther bodies. if you eat food that has gone through suffering then you will suffer as a result. the more i learnt he more i believe. if you want to be happy do not eat food that has suffered or you're spirit will be altered

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    Old Soldier, Bournemouth  |  August 13 2010, 5:07PM

    Is an Ant classified as a wild animal?

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    Jimmy, Paignton  |  August 13 2010, 1:30PM

    Big ? It looks smaller than the man's thumb under its tail.

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    Ant, Paignton  |  August 13 2010, 12:32PM

    I guess thats one mature, large, rare fish that won't be populating these waters in the future. Congrats to all concerned for the demise of another wild animal.

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