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Fish #013 Velvet Belly Lanternshark Etmopterus spinax ~ Esme Dodsworth
Linocut 21 x 29 cm
Is a species of dogfish shark, found in the northeastern Atlantic ocean. One of the smaller sharks, normally no more than 45cm long, so named velvet belly due to its black underside and brown colouration over the rest of the body. It has been assessed as least concern by the IUCN, though heavy numbers are caught as bycatch in the deep water. However its slow reproductive rates are raising conservation concern.
Your velvet under
Makes you seem so soft
But you are a tiny shark
That is well and truly tough
One of the few
To keep going strong
A little Fighter
Keep Swimming along
Having Grown up in Boston, Lincolnshire, right by the Boston docks, I have grown with the sea and the fishing industry all around me. I have seen the way it has impacted many lives as a living, and also seen how the industry and climate change has changed the local landscape.
Fish #013 Velvet Belly Lanternshark Etmopterus spinax ~ Moira Buchanan
Mix Media on Upcycled Wood Panel 19 x 36 cm
This fish is commonly known as the Velvet Belly. Maturity size range 33 - 36 cm, max 60cm. Depth range possibly 70m-2000m and is of the small shark species. As a deep-sea fish, it feeds on prawns, crustaceans, small fish, and squid. The Velvet Lantern can be located at Rockall Trough and Faroe-Shetland Channel. Other habitats include parts of the British Isles, Europe and of the north African coast where waters are deep.
Velvet Belly Features:
Lower half of the body is black, upper body is grey to brown.
Fins light grey/white. Tail is fairly long.
Skin rough in texture.
Predominantly large eyes and mouth.
Small sharp teeth.
An interesting feature of the Velvet Belly is its ability to deter predators by producing light from cells within its skin - bioluminescence. It's believed this feature located on the bottom part of the body and ridges of the dorsal fins also confuses its prey. The Velvet Belly's habitat is affected by commercial deep-water fisheries in the Mediterranean and north Atlantic causing undocumented deaths, or multiple discard of this species in poor state resulting in eventual death.
I chose the Velvet Belly Lanternfish for its beautiful linear quality, wide eyes and broad mouth. By utilising upcycled wood from a palette and referencing a plastic bag drawn and painted onto the wood canvas, I was making a direct evaluation of human content of the ocean. In recent years the pollutants caused by us appear to be reaching dangerous levels. Obviously other dangerous elements from hard plastics (bottles, containers), metals, chemicals etc are as hazardous to the marine environment. I feel angered and disappointed at the lack of responsibility we have in the care-taking of our most precious resource – the ocean and its inhabitants.
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Lincolnshire Time and Tide Bell Community Interest Company is a not-for profit organisation, registered at Companies House. Company Number 10934941