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fookisan
July 2nd, 2005, 10:44 AM
Can you eat parrot fish - the bright colored ones that graze on the rocks or coral and poop out sand?

Dan

drbill
July 2nd, 2005, 11:10 AM
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.

knotical
July 2nd, 2005, 11:29 AM
I spent several years on a tropical island where they were eaten, but were not very popular. Their name in the local dialect was rather rude. Also see:
http://www.rsmas.miami.edu/support/lib/seas/seasQA/QAs/p/parrotfish.html#number7

CJ's
July 2nd, 2005, 12:38 PM
Yes, you can eat Parrotfish, but why would you want to?

teknitroxdiver
July 2nd, 2005, 02:01 PM
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.

slingshot
July 2nd, 2005, 02:11 PM
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?"

Jamdiver
July 2nd, 2005, 05:24 PM
Yes, you can eat Parrotfish, but why would you want to?

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...

scubamax
July 2nd, 2005, 07:51 PM
You should try it though, it tastes great when fried.
To each their own...



Just about ANYTHING tastes good when fried!

Tamas
July 2nd, 2005, 08:03 PM
Can you eat parrot fish - the bright colored ones that graze on the rocks or coral and poop out sand?

Dan

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

JustAddWater
July 2nd, 2005, 11:43 PM
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.

MB
July 3rd, 2005, 09:55 AM
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!

fookisan
July 3rd, 2005, 07:35 PM
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?"


"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

CJ's
July 3rd, 2005, 08:31 PM
"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
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

phelana
March 22nd, 2009, 01:34 PM
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

Scuba Laura
March 23rd, 2009, 04:48 PM
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.

DeputyDan
March 24th, 2009, 02:40 PM
Looks like a dyed Carp to me.

I'll just look!

AbyssalPlains
March 24th, 2009, 03:06 PM
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.

cerich
March 24th, 2009, 03:08 PM
Can you eat parrot fish - the bright colored ones that graze on the rocks or coral and poop out sand?

Dan

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.

LetterBoy
March 24th, 2009, 03:10 PM
PSSST: Old July 2nd, 2005, 10:44 AM

cerich
March 24th, 2009, 03:12 PM
PSSST: Old July 2nd, 2005, 10:44 AM

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

PARADISE HUNTER
March 24th, 2009, 10:20 PM
Good advice given here. I'm for eating just about anything. But if what I'm about to eat is known to make people sick and also helps a struggling ecosystem, I stay clear. Simple math for me. There are way to many other fish to eat.

PH

netdiver
May 24th, 2009, 03:15 AM
Why eat parrot fish as opposed to other fish? The assumption to the answer of "yes" for those who gave it is that they taste good. I love seafood!! I've yet to reconcile my love of diving and observing with that of a meat eating animal that loves food from the sea. I don't know if there's a right answer, but I've yet to conclude that eating seafood is "wrong". I've never had a parrot fish so I don't know if they taste good. However, I don't think that they're "pretty" is a reason to not eat a parrot fish vs. a catfish. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all.

The next consideration would be sustainability. I haven't seen reports or news that parrot fish are one of those endangered fish like grouper, sea bass, Atlantic Bluefin Tuna, etc.

My next concern would be habitat impact. Don't parrot fish eat coral? If the concern is health of the reef, it would seem that reducing numbers of parrot fish might actually benefit the reef in some small part though perhaps to the negative impact to some other aspect. <like the killing of the crown of thorns in Australia> Catching parrot fish by spear or other manual method would also imply that it would not have a direct negative impact on other sea animals environments like fishing nets and other damaging methods do.

I post my thoughts to share and learn, and they are definitely not informed. So please don't waste your hate on me with any vehement responses that are contrary. Simply respond to educate and debate.


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