Can you eat parrot fish?

Discussion in 'Greater Caribbean and Bermuda' started by fookisan, Jul 2, 2005.

  1. fookisan

    fookisan Barracuda

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    Can you eat parrot fish - the bright colored ones that graze on the rocks or coral and poop out sand?

    Dan
     
  2. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest

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    I remember how shocked I was when I saw an ad in an Australian magazine that showed a fisherman with a brightly colored parrotfish he had just caught. I just never translated from our fishers catching the kelp bass I see daily on my dives to someone else catching the fish common to their oceans.

    Based on that picture I'd guess they are edible, but it is always wise to check with someone who has knowledge of the local species. I'm not aware of any commercial fishery for them, but would imagine if they are edible they are caught by the native reef fishers.
     
  3. knotical

    knotical perpetual student Staff Member

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  4. CJ's

    CJ's Nassau Grouper

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    Yes, you can eat Parrotfish, but why would you want to?
     
  5. teknitroxdiver

    teknitroxdiver Great White

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    Yep. I'm halfway back from vacation in the BVI, and in the local grocery stores they have parrotfish along with a whole range of other reef fish that you wouldn't expect to be eaten. Kind of heartbreaking to see them on the reef and then see them in the fridge, when there are plenty of less 'pretty' fish to eat.
     
  6. slingshot

    slingshot Photographer

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    I was also told by a local captain that parrotfish are eaten locally in the BVIs, and that some of the trap floats you see bobbing around are for parrotfish, and not just crustaceans. Only locals can legally trap however. I second CJ's query, "why would you want to?"
     
  7. Jamdiver

    Jamdiver Single Diver

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    They taste great!
    Parrotfish are a bit of a local delicacy here, most fish that you'll find at the supermarket, fish market etc. are parrotfish, snapper or some other sort of reef-associated fish.

    Fishbase.org notes that there have been reports of ciguatera poisoning from eating parrotfish, although I've never heard of it occuring here myself.
    http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname=Scarus&speciesname=taeniopterus
    http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/FamilySummary.cfm?ID=364

    You should try it though, it tastes great when fried.
    To each their own...
     
  8. scubamax

    scubamax Barracuda

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    Just about ANYTHING tastes good when fried!
     
  9. Tamas

    Tamas Loggerhead Turtle

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    Yes you can and they taste great! Had them a few times while we were down in Hurghada, Egypt.
     
  10. JustAddWater

    JustAddWater Manta Ray

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    I ate parrotfish in the Cook Islands...delicious. I now have a real appreciation for them when I see them in the local aquarium shop.
     
  11. MB

    MB Obi-MB-Kenobi ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Years ago in Samoa we considered parrot fish a real treat. Clean but kept whole, steamed or baked until almost done, loaded with chopped vegetables on top, AND THEN to finish cooking, pour very hot sesame oil across the top and the veggies. The oil and the steam it produces finishes cooking the meat and adds a wonderful flavor!

    Only one problem - more than one person has ended up with ciguatera from parrots. Becasuse they munch reef all day long, they are quite likely to have the toxins in their tissues in some amount. Maybe not much, but that is highly dependent on the reef on which they live. AND, it also matters how suseptible the person who eats it is. I've known people who had previous poisoning become sick after just one bite, while others eat it regularly with no problems. The same holds for barracuda, some snappers, and scads of other reef fish. Thank God I've never come down with it - its miserable. These days, my ingestion of reef fish, raw oysters, urchins, fugu, and other risky delicacies is much suppressed. Its just too darned hard to recover as you get older!
     
  12. fookisan

    fookisan Barracuda

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    "why would you want to?....I was looking to spearfish some while snorkeling since they were the bigest fish on the reef. If I could find some tuna or bonita I would eat it though.

    Dan
     
  13. CJ's

    CJ's Nassau Grouper

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    Maybe I'm just stupid, but I don't get it. :06:

    You travel hundreds (or thousands) of miles to visit exciting new destinations, experience new cultures, meet new and different peoples, see incredibly beautiful ecosystems, marvel over the wonderful natural wildlife.....and then shoot it and eat it!!!!

    Whatever happened to "take only pictures, leave only bubbles"? I guess in some people's book it's "take only dynamite, leave only bones!"

    Are so few people aware of the natural pressures on reefs and their rate of decline (esp. in the Caribbean), without adding additional pressure from overfishing by tourists!

    I'm totally sympathetic to local, indigenous fishermen who have for centuries based their and their families' survival upon reef fishing but please don't contribute to an already overwhelming problem worldwide.

    Please try to limit your diet to sustainable resources rather than targeting fragile ecosystems.

    To end my rant please consider eating dolphin (mahi mahi, not flipper!) which is a local fish which grows and breeds rapidly, is not susceptible to over-fishing and of course, tastes great!!

    CJ :11ztongue
     
  14. phelana

    phelana Barracuda

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    Please do not eat this fish. They clean our reefs. It is totally uncool to eat Parrotfish IMHO. I personally will boycott any place that serves this fish. Divers should know better. You rely on the reef to pursue your passion..protect the Parrotfish. Educate others..inform ..

    I eat Mahi Mahi in the Caribbean...

    http://www.edf.org/documents/1980_pocket_seafood_selector.pdf
     
  15. Scuba Laura

    Scuba Laura Nassau Grouper

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    Have you seen what the parrotfish eat? EWWWWWWWW! If you are not aware of the rules and regulations please do not partake in spearfishing on an unfamiliar island. Why not eat something the professional fisherman catch? I sell spearguns and we don't encourage anybody to spear near the island, it will plain make you sick. I also do not allow spearguns on our dive charters. I sell mostly to local's who do it for a living or for their own meals.
     
  16. DeputyDan

    DeputyDan Surface Interval Member

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    Looks like a dyed Carp to me.

    I'll just look!
     
  17. AbyssalPlains

    AbyssalPlains Manta Ray

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    I don't know whether you can eat them, but think about this before you try them: One of the reasons today's coral reefs are in such dire straits is because nutrient-rich runoff water from land (agriculture, tourism resorts, cities, etc.) leads to unnatural algal growth. Algal growth can kill off corals in no time, unless something keeps them in check. This role is played by so-called grazers, animals that browse the reef for food. The parrotfish are one of the most critical group of grazing animals in the reef community, so while perhaps one COULD eat them, I think it's worth pondering whether one SHOULD eat them.
     
  18. cerich

    cerich Administrator ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Yes, it used to be sold in the supermarket when I lived in Grand Cayman the last half of the 90's.

    It wasn't that bad.
     
  19. LetterBoy

    LetterBoy he who lacks empathy ScubaBoard Supporter

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    PSSST: Old July 2nd, 2005, 10:44 AM
     
  20. cerich

    cerich Administrator ScubaBoard Supporter

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    NO, I would NOT eat parrot fish caught July 2nd, 2005 :D
     

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