The fins on the Bass fish fold flat when they are dead and blend in with the rest of the fish. Then when you are filleting the fish or even picking it up to weigh, the blighters jab their needle sharp fin bones into your soft fingers. Oh how the customers laugh as you emit a loud "ow!" Some of the customers even look shocked as you view your stinging and bloody finger, whilst running for the first aid box for a blue plaster. Sometimes we have to fillet a dozen or more at a time for the oriental customers (often restaurant owners) and the exercise can turn into a fishy Russian roulette. Five done and still not stabbed, six done and still not stabbed, seven done and still not "ow! you bass -tard!" The last word being muttered under your breath, of course. De-scaling can be hazardous too with silvery scales flirting right, left and centre with the possibility of one or two in your eye.
|hake and a very nervous mackerel|
What can be the worst thing then Philip? Do tell us. Do you really wanna know? Yes! Yes! Stop teasing! The worst thing is getting drenched with a groin full of pongy cod water as you open a box of fresh fish where the ice has partially melted. One: it looks like you have pissed yourself, two: you stink and three it is wet and uncomfortable until you get a chance to get changed. In my case you also have the potential embarrassment of travelling home whiffing strongly of cod juice on a hot bus later in the day.
The job can be fun too but we are not really able to get up to the extremes of fun like the Pike Place fish stall in Seattle where they shout, banter, engage the customers and throw the large fish around.
|Pike Place fishmongers in Seattle|
|Catch that pike!!|
So, as you are eating your lovely fillets of fish please consider the potential dangers that brought this creature to your plate. Then of course there are the real dangers of catching the fish in the first place on the high seas. That's another level of danger completely and makes a poorly finger look I would be a complete wimp for complaining.
'Commercial fishing is one of the top ten most hazardous jobs. The Coast Guard estimates that 80% of accidents are caused by human error, and few sailors survive a commercial fishing accident on the open water. There are the risks of working on very slippery and oily surfaces in adverse weather; the chances of dismemberment or death from getting trapped by heavy machinery and being miles out at sea. There are also wires zipping about the surface of the ship’s deck as the fish are brought aboard and sometimes visibility can be very poor. These, among many other potential dangers can lead to loss of life or serious injury’.
I think that I'll stick behind my counter thanks. "Pass the bass please. No!!! Don't throw it!" I said "Don't throw it!" OW!!