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In the seas of Cyprus new red mullet from the Suez Canal

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In the seas of Cyprus new red mullet from the Suez Canal

A total of five species of red mullet swim in the sea area of the island. Petrobarbouno, as fishermen want to call it, is one of them and in fact it is very delicious.

This fish also came to our seas from the Indian Ocean via the Suez Canal, however it is not toxic at all, neither tasteless nor indifferent to fishermen. This is the tropical species parupeneus forsskali, which belongs to the red mullet family. It is very similar to red mullet on the outside, although it has some important differences in taste.

Consumers can hardly tell it apart, even though it has a characteristic black line and hard scales, which is why fish markets and fish taverns often mix them and sell them together with the red mullets we all know. Of course, those who know about fish, but especially fishermen, can easily see that this is a new version of the red mullet. This does not mean that red mullet has no commercial value.


According to the responsible officer of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research Nikolas Michailidis, petrobarbouno, as fishermen or streilibarbouno want to call it, is a lesbian species, ie it migrated to the Mediterranean from the Red Sea via the Suez Canal. It is also known that Cyprus is affected by the invasion of non-native species, due to its proximity to the Suez Canal.

The first gas mound was located in the sea area of Cyprus about two years ago. Since then until today its numbers have increased significantly, especially in the area of Paralimni, however it is expected that at some point they will stabilize, as happened with other lesbian species.
According to Mr. Michailidis, this is a small bottom-dwelling species that we find mainly in muddy bottoms and at depths up to 120 meters. Usually, it has a length of about 15 cm, while it can reach 25 cm. It forms large herds and feeds on benthic microorganisms, which it locates with its whiskers on the substrate. Like red mullet and sturgeon, red mullet is caught with bottom trawls and static nets and is considered a very good quality species.

“It is the fifth kind of red mullet that exists in the sea of the island. We believe that it is not expected to create problems for the rest of the fish populations “, said Mr. Michailidis. He noted that initially its price was very high, around 22 euros per kilo, however it has slowly begun to decline.

Hundred kilos of fish!

According to fishermen, last month five fishing boats fished around 100 kilos of rock mullet. Reports of good fish have been made from Xylofagou and Pervolia.

Initially, the fishmongers paid only 3 euros to the fishermen for a kilo of mullet, as a result of which they were dissatisfied. Then the specific fish reached 22 euros, while now its price has stabilized close to 10 euros per kilo. However, those who have tried it were happy even though it is not the well-known red mullet.

On August 20, 2014, a sample of rock mullet was caught in a net in the area of Pyla. The net was placed at a depth of 24 meters. The sample was hastily photographed using a low-definition camera and stored in a freezer for about ten months before being picked up by the Department of Fisheries. When the sample was examined it was in poor condition, but still showed sufficient characteristics to make some basic measurements.

Source: politis.com.cy

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