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Posted by Mojo Mike on May 23, 2005 at 11:34:04:

In Reply to: Re: It could be worse. posted by Roger on May 23, 2005 at 06:36:44:

I also would have removed this hook. As you noted it is a easy lip removal. It would be very difficult for a fisherman on a large/party boat to do this. Being so far above the surface. A fisherman from a smaller boat or shore could easily reach down and pluck the hook. Bringing a fish aboard for hook removal would harm the fish much further. Damaging the fish's protective slime layer could be fatal to the fish. Pure speculation on my part, but I believe this fish was hooked by a party boat. It was recognized as a protected fish. Before some one stuck a gaff into it. Remember the Great White that was filleted. Before someone admitted/recognized it was a protected fish.

The parasites are easy to see in Elaine's excellant photograph. I wonder if Black Sea Bass eat cleaner fish. Or if just becuase of the long age of these fish that cleaner fish. Just can't keep up. Or if their are a shortage of cleaner fish or if they are on strike. Oh hell, where is a marine bioligist. When you need one.

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