One of the common inshore
species is this one, Notothenia neglecta, the subject
of my particular studies. It was sometimes called "Antarctic
Cod", but then I've seen that label attached to several other
Antarctic fish species. With no native human population and
a fish population that is pretty much totally unique to Antarctica,
very few Antarctic fish actually have anything like a common
name. The people who deal with them with any regularity are
scientists rather than fishmongers as it would be anywhere else
in the world.
The result is that Antarctic
fish tend only to have a Latin name. For reason I have never
been able to fully understand this can greatly irritate some
people. The conversation goes something like this:
"So what kind of fish
did you catch out there?"
me - "Quite a few types"
me - (ok here we go again)
didn't really have common names, just scientific ones"
me - (I know where this is going)
"Notothenia neglecta, Chaenocephalus aceratus,
Trematomus bernachii, Champsocephalus gunnari"
"Well that means nothing to me! Didn't they have proper
me - "Well you could call them Antarctic
Cod, or Icefish"
"Oh that makes more sense, I can imagine
what they were like now"
me - no you can't! (but
I never say that)
Paul Ward -
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