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Fish #175 Rock Cook Centrolabrus exoletus ~ Maria Sky
Mixed Media Assemblage 43 x 36 x 10 cm
The fish peers, with confusion and shock, at the two plastic bottles located at the bottom of the shadow box. Amongst the "seagrass" also lies a small metal toy truck and one plastic cap. The fish looks in disbelief, thinking of its life amongst the debris that has been tossed haphazardly, by humans, into the ocean, not thinking of what this is doing to the ocean's environment. This assemblage artwork is set against a mosaic of fireglass, and embellished with plastic bottles, plastic wrap, toy truck, dried plants, rocks and sand providing a variety of textures of this fish's environment. This particular combination of items is intended to show the infiltration of debris and plastics that are rapidly become common place in the Earth's oceans, symbolic of how polluted the Earth's waters have become, created by plastic waste as well as other items not suitable or sustainable for a viable life.
A Rock Cook (also known as 'small mouth wrasse') is a colourful small-sized fish found living among seaweeds and eelgrass beds located throughout the ocean waters of Britain and Ireland as well as in the eastern Atlantic from Norway to Portugal and Greenland. The maximum size of a Rock Cook is 15-18 cm (approximately 6 in). The body is greenish brown with cream undersides and the head is yellow-orange with blue stripes. It eats various crustaceans and is also considered a 'cleaner fish' since it removes ectoparasites from other fish. It is ironic that this fish is a 'cleaner fish', taking care of other fish, yet must live in a polluted ocean, due to the thoughtless humans with whom it shares its environment.
Fish #175B Rock Cook Centrolabrus exoletus ~ Tasha Easton
Watercolour 15 x 20 cm
The Rock Cook lives in most British waters, with the exception of the southern North Sea. It tends to live in shallow inshore areas among seaweeds (particularly eelgrass) and near rocks. It has a life expectancy of about 8 years. It is the rarest of the five UK wrasse species. It grows to about 15cm in length and is easily distinguished by five spiny rays on the anal fin. It is mostly greenish brown, but with flecks of blue or purple on the fins. Its sides are yellow-brown, with a cream underbelly. It has small, pointed teeth that project forward from the mouth. The Rock Cook feeds on small invertebrates and crustaceans and also cleans parasites from other fish. It is often used in salmon cages as a cleaner fish. The fish pair to breed, with the male building a dish shaped nest and guarding the eggs.
Fish #175A Rock Cook Centrolabrus exoletus ~ Moira Buchanan
Mix Media on Upcycled Wood Panel 19 x 36 cm
The Centrolabrus exoletus lives near rocks and amongst seaweed - notably eelgrass, on most coastline areas of Britain and Ireland. Also known as the 'Small Mouthed Wrasse' it feeds on small invertebrates and cleans parasites from other fish. Wrasse have thick pursed-lips that hold and pull shellfish from rocks. Their strong jaws and powerful teeth also allow them to crush through the hard casings of shellfish and softer shell of crustaceans.
Rock Cook Wrasse Features
Up to 15/18 cm in length.
Greenish brown with bright blue layers or flecks trapped in the fins
Blue/orange/brown scales throughout the body with yellow sides and cream underside.
Head gold-orange with blue and pink stripes.
Small head thick lips and large body
My chosen fish for #200 Fish has an interesting life cycle and is possibly "the rarest of the five U.K wrasse species" (britishseafishing). In the spring to summer months the females use crevices within rocks to hide their eggs nesting the young on a bed e of the water till they grow thus the cycle of the wrasse species is repeaof fine algae. After a few weeks the eggs open and the larvae move along the surfacted. The Rock Cook, as with all species of wrasse, are protogynous hermaphrodites they begin life as female but over time, either remain female, or metamorphose to male. Because their habitat is within shallow waters they are prone to being caught by sea anglers. Except from environmental alterations by natural cause or human pollutants there is currently no known threat to the Rock Cook.
Commercial value of this fish as a menu dish is not popular, however, the species of wrasse has merit as a 'cleaner fish' for salmon fisheries.
So far, no conservation measures are in place for the Rock Cook, nevertheless its habitat weaves alongside other protected marine life within its environment.
Note: The Rock Cook can also be found in the Eastern Atlantic from central Norway southwards to central Portugal.
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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