Re: NANFA-- Alaska blackfish respiration (Fwd)

Christopher Scharpf (
Sun, 25 Feb 2001 22:17:58 -0400

>Blackfish are small (about 10 cm) fish of northern and interior Alaska

Small? They can get up to 30 cm.

>Incidently, these fish can be frozen, and will at least temporarily "come
>back to life" after thawing out.

Not accurate. If the fish is compeltely frozen, it dies. If parts of its body
are frozen, even the head, it can survive. Stories of frozen blackfish being
eaten by sled dogs, thawed out by the heat of the dog's stomach, and them
vomited up alive, are apocryphal.

>Any insight as to why this swelling would occur, or good books/articles that
>might provide a lead would be greatly appreciated.

Have no clue about the swelling and would love to learn more about it. The first
place I'd check would be: Crawford, R.H. 1974. Structure of an air-breathing
organ and the swim bladder in the Alaskan blackfish. Can. J. Fish. Aq. Sci. 52:

>PS: anyone want some blackfish?

I've read (in "Fishes of Alaska") that there are restrictions on the taking of
this fish, but don't know why. It appears to be common. Keeping them in aquaria,
though, would require a chiller, I would think. Definitely a cool (pun intended)

Chris Scharpf

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