Re: Black Sea Bass with a spear

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Posted by Dr. Bill on October 10, 2005 at 21:49:01:

In Reply to: Black Sea Bass with a spear posted by mary ann on September 21, 2005 at 16:36:34:

Although I haven't seen a BSB with a spear actually in its side (but I have seen pictures of them), I HAVE seen a number of black sea bass with spear wounds in them. Usually these are somewhere near the operculum. Several show entry and exit holes as if from a powered spear. Others show single entry holes, suggesting something like a sling.

Since I have no accurate way of determining the age of these wounds, it is hard to tell whether they occured over a short period of time or of longer duration. I would assume any spear wounds in fish dating back before protected status was created in 1981-82 would have healed completely by now.

In addition to these spear wounds, I have also seen a number of surface fishing related wounds. Some are minor, from people fishing with light tackle. Obviously a fisherman on the surface fishing with light monofilament is not "targeting" BSB's. It is an accidental catch, and the fish usually break the line with the small hook still in the mouth as a minor irritant.

However there are also wounds that appear to come from larger hooks. I've seen several where the lips are ripped and some with chunks removed from the fish by what I assume was heavier tackle and hooks catching the body as they broke loose.

I have been documenting as much as I can over the past six years in the hopes that the video footage I take can help educate people (divers, fishers and the general public) about these fish and the need to protect them as best we can.

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