It belongs to the family “belokrovie fish” and has several other names such as “mackerel icefish” or “Belokurova ordinary pike”. Such a thing as “ice” is used in order to focus on a particular family and its individual members. To this family belong also the “crocodile” and “whale” belobrovko.
- 1 Ice fish: description
- 1.1 appearance size
- 1.2 the Nature of the behavior and way of life
- 1.3 How long does the ice fish
- 1.4 Habitat, habitat
- 1.5 Diet
- 1.6 Reproduction and offspring
- 1.7 Natural enemies
- 1.8 Commercial value of the species
- 1.9 Population and species status
- 2 Use in cooking
The ice fish: description
Norwegian whalers of the 19th century were actively disseminated information about that in the distant Antarctica there are species of fish that differ in colorless blood. In this regard, they got the name as “bloodless” or “ice”.
It is interesting to know! To date, there is a strict classification of genera and species, so “belokrovie” or “ice” fishes belong to the order “Perciformes”. In this unit they are represented by eleven genera, which include sixteen species.
This phenomenon does not at first interested scientists, so the study of such “anomalies” only began in the middle of the last century. The Swedish zoologist Einar, Lenberg conducted research and determined the principles of scientific classification of these fish species.
Fish ice is characterized as large, and its main populations are distributed within South Georgia. Adults grow to 70 cm in length, with an average weight of three pounds, although there are individual specimens weighing more than 3 pounds. The average size of individuals does not exceed the length of 45 cm, which is typical for waters of the Kerguelen archipelago.
The first dorsal fin is formed from 10 (not more) flexible, but quite spiny rays, second fin is formed of 4 dozen jointed rays. The same number of rays in the anal fin. First the lower part of the Gill arch is characterized by the presence of order 20 (not more) Gill rakers. The total number of vertebrae is about 60 pieces, although it may be slightly more or slightly less.
This fish is not high, but the elongated body, and on top of the snout is missing Rostral spike. The tip of the upper jaw and the lower jaw is in the same plane. Length of the snout is relatively less than the overall height of the head. I ice fish as large as large (relatively) to the eye, and the distance between the eyes optimal.
Bone of the forehead, located above the eyes is flat, not raised and without the presence of crenulate. Dorsal fins are located at a very close distance, they can touch or have a large separating space. The fish is characterized by the presence of two lateral lines and the absence of bone growths. The ventral fins are the optimum size, with the longest rays do not reach the beginning of the anal fin. The caudal fin has a classic shape with notch.
Interesting fact! Young specimens all the fins are lighter shades, and more adult specimens they are more dark tones, with a blackish tint.
The fish body is silvery light gray, and the ventral part is of pure white color, while the back area is characterized as dark. On both sides of the trunk you can see the dark vertical stripes of irregular shape, with four of them significantly stand out.
Behavior and lifestyle
Due to the fact that the biochemical composition of blood of the ice fish is somewhat different from the classical and consists of large number of erythrocytes and hemoglobin, this fish thrives in conditions where the water temperature is 0 degrees or less. The fish prefers to stay at depths of 600 to 800 meters. The meat of this fish is characterized by a sweet taste, tender and quite tasty, while it has no specific fish flavor.
Ice fish not breathing through gills and through the skin of the whole body, including the fins. The number of capillaries running through the skin of the fish body, three times more, in comparison with the surface of the Gill in the respiratory system of other species of fish. As a rule, on every square millimeter of the surface is up to 45 mm length capillaries.
How long does the ice fish
The functions of the body ice fish is designed to operate in adverse conditions, the frequency of heart beats is slightly higher compared to other fish species. The average life expectancy of the ice fish does not exceed two decades.
The ice fish is a species that belongs to the category of discontinuous Circum-Antarctic species. For such representatives is considered typical and their habitat, which is confined to the Northern part of the Antarctic, which includes a number of Islands. It rocks Step, South Georgia island, South Sandwich, and South Shetland Orchidee of the island.
It is important to know! The livelihoods of fish in such conditions is ensured by quick blood circulation, which is possible due to the large size of the heart and more intensive work of this important body.
Large populations of clients seen within the Bouvet island, which corresponds to the Northern border of the Antarctic. The Eastern border of the Antarctic ice is characterized by the presence of fish within the underwater Kerguelen ridge, and the limits of the Islands, McDonald and heard island, and other hones.
The ice fish is a typical predator, the diet of which consists of living organisms of different origin. Often potential victims are squid, krill, and not big fish.
Due to the fact that its diet includes krill, ice fish meat taste almost matches the taste of the prawns.
Reproduction and offspring
Ice fish have a clear division between the sexes, so the appearance of fingerlings depends on females and males. Females are forming eggs that develop inside the ovaries. The eggs are enclosed in a translucent, thin shell, resulting in immediate fertilization. The female lays eggs through an oviduct, which is near the anus.
In paired testes of males are formed the sperm in the form of milk. The testes are connected with a peculiar system of tubules that open to the outside. Inside these channels is the seed bag, which is marked by a significant extension. The male fertilizes the eggs almost simultaneously with the process of spawning females.
Members of the family “belokrovie fish” ripen at the age of 2 years, after which they are ready to reproduce. Spawning occurs in the autumn, while individuals lay from 1 to 30 thousand eggs, depending on age. Born the fry are developing rather slowly and feed mostly on zooplankton.
Due to the presence of the fish scales, special substances, the fish feels good even in sub-zero temperatures. Being in such extreme conditions, but still at a considerable depth, ice fish natural, practically no enemies. The only natural enemy is man, who has been practicing for mass trapping of this unique fish.
Commercial value of the species
This species is distinguished by the fact that he represents a commercial interest, which leads to a decrease in the number of active fishing. In this presentation corresponds to the size of individuals in the range of 25-35 cm and weight from 100 to 1000 grams. The meat of this species contains a bunch of useful components, in the form of minerals and vitamins that positively affect the function of internal organs.
In Russia, due to the fact that the fish has a unique taste and it is located in difficult natural conditions for its production, belongs to the category of premium price categories. It should be noted the fact that in Soviet times, this fish along with Alaska Pollock and blue whiting was equal to the fish is low quality, and low price categories.
Ice fish crisp, tender and quite lean meat (8 %), low in calories (140). The percentage of protein content is quite high (up to 17 %). The fish meat is practically no bones, both large and small. The backbone of the fish is soft and almost edible.
Interesting fact! Oddly enough, but the ice fish lives in Antarctic waters, which are considered environmentally friendly. Therefore, fish meat is considered to be completely harmless, since it does not contain any harmful substances.
So the meat does not lose its qualities in the cooking process, you should give preference to such cooking techniques like boiling or steaming. Gourmets prefer wash dishes, and the Japanese use meat ice fish raw.
Population and species status
As a rule, these species of fish caught in our days more modern gear within the Islands, located near the Arctic mainland. Annually catch about 5 thousand tons of this valuable, useful and tasty fish. Despite this, to date, according to scientists, populations of the ice fish is not in danger. Still, to fish at such a distance is too expensive. In this regard, the Russian fishermen do not practice fishing ice fish, and if it is present in the stores, only foreign.
Use in cooking
As mentioned above – this fish is unique not only because she lives in extreme conditions, but also because it has a special taste, not comparable with the taste of any other fish. This factor cooks take into account when preparing the food and cooking of this fish can be any dish, both the first and the second. Ice fish is allowed to boil, simmer, bake, etc., but most delicious when it is fried. Before cooking, you can marinate the meat with various spices, but there should be quite a bit to spice couldn’t beat the natural taste of the fish, taste like shrimp. Meat ice fish can be used for preparation of various pastries.
It is likely that this fish will appear in stores in frozen form, so it is important to purchase a quality product. To do this, you must know how to choose the right product. In the first place should pay attention to the eyes, which should not be cloudy. If the eyes are not clean (not transparent), this product is better than buying, especially since it is freezing the fish is not cheap. You can smell the fish and on this basis to determine its freshness. If there is no smell means the fish is fresh. Frozen fish should contain the minimal amount of ice. If ice a lot, and it is not transparent, then the fish was defrosted, added to her liquid and frozen again.
No less important is to defrost the fish before cooking, so it has not lost its qualities. Better if the fish can thaw in the fridge. Although more time will be spent, but it will preserve the taste of the fish and its dignity. At the same time we must remember that to keep the fish in the refrigerator is allowed no more than 2 days. So once it defrosts, you should start its preparation, but do not leave fish in the refrigerator indefinitely. As a rule, fish is defrosted in the morning, if you put it in the fridge the night before. In the freezer you can store the fish not more than six months.
Before cooking the fish should be cleaned, although it is not difficult, since she has no scales. We must not forget to cut off the head, tail, fins and get rid of the innards, after which the fish is rinsed with clean running water.
As mentioned above, most delicious ice fish so, if it to roast. It should be remembered that the caloric content of the product is increased almost in 2 times, and the fried fish is quite heavy on the stomach. Therefore, for people suffering from problems of the gastrointestinal tract, this product is contraindicated. Those for whom the fried fish not have a negative impact on the body, can cook fish in the pan, pre-roll it in the flour. Permitted instead of flour to use curry or sesame seeds. Preparing fish in the pan without a lid for 15 minutes, it is necessary to verify that the fish was roasted evenly on all sides, but to turn the fish often should not be.
Naturally, recipes ice fish quite a lot and everyone has the right to decide what technology to cook it. And still it is necessary to consider that the most useful fish is raw fish, boiled and baked in the oven and cooked on the grill.