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Fish # 70 Haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus ~ James Pocklington
watercolour 32cm x 25cm
With its distinctive dark "thumbprint" by the pectoral fin, the haddock is easily identified, a commercially important fish it is one of the big 5 of fish species along with cod, tuna, salmon and prawns. These 5 species represent 60% of seafood consumed in the UK.
The haddock inhabits the deep sea, rarely found less than 50 metres down; it feeds on shellfish and worms and can grow to one metre long but is more usually about 35cm in length. Listed as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the haddock also appears on the Greenpeace Red list of fish that are at a high risk of being caught from unsustainable fisheries. The haddock faces an uncertain future at current levels of commercial harvesting.
The importance of the haddock to the fishing town of Grimsby has been celebrated with the adoption of "Harry the Haddock" as a Grimsby Town Football Club mascot.
You carry the print of St Peter, others say it was Satan.
From deep sea anonymity to such large numbers taken.
Cursed to possess such sweet flesh,
Fitted so neat into newspaper pleat,
That brave men hauled you from the deep.
This blessing helped the hungry sleep.
Cursed and blessed, for a century or more
Blessed and cursed, a wild food store
Perhaps it's time to let you be,
To return once more to obscurity.
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