Ballan wrasse

(Labrus berggylta)

 

Size:  Reaching sizes up to 60 - 65 cm, then weighing over 3 kg.

 

Biology: The ballan wrasse is a big and colorful wrasse and it is easy to recognize by its large fins and the big scales on the skin. This fish is common close to the coast of Great Britain and southern parts of Scandinavia. In Norway this fish is common in the areas around Bergen and southward. The ballan wrasse often lives near cliffs and rocks along the coast. Youíll find the ballan wrasse from 3 to 30 meters depth in the summer. During late autumn it seeks into deeper waters. The ballan wrasse spawns during the summer.

 

This fish changes sex. It starts its life as a female. After 10 years (+) it turns into a male. This may explain why this fish, while being a male, is so thoughtful and devoted watching its eggs?

 

Fishing: In some areas they have tradition for fishing and eating ballan wrasse, but this species is not representing any important commercial fishery. This wrasse is though popular among anglers (Do it the easy way: Use a small hook and crush some periwinkles for bait). The ballan wrasse tastes good, though "sweeter" than cod or coalfish. In Norway the ballan wrasse is used fresh (often salted), in soups and in minced fish. It may seem difficult filleting this fish, but here is an easy technique (Look at the photos. Donít mind the Norwegian text).

 

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The ballan wrasse has unik combinations of pattern and colors. These were caught on 10 m. depth.

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A beautiful fish, though not many use it for food. This on was caught with fishing net.

 

Fishing in Norway

 

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