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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 September, 2004, 12:43 GMT 13:43 UK
Fish with teeth on the menu
Triggerfish - photo courtesy of the National Marine Aquarium
The triggerfish is known as the 'donkeyfish' in the Middle East
A new choice of fresh fish is appearing on menus at pubs and restaurants in Pembrokeshire.

Triggerfish are normally found in warm Atlantic waters but local fishermen have reported an increase this Summer.

The fish - whose sharp teeth and 'trigger' fins make them a tricky catch for predators - are turning up in lobster pots.

Experts say the fish have been moving north for the last 15 years and may even be breeding in Welsh waters.

Craig Roberts of Milford Angling Supplies said: "There's no doubt that this year in particular there's been a increase in triggerfish from the shore but one of my customers found considerable numbers of the fish in their lobster pots after the bait."

Mary Whitewright, of the Castle Hotel, Little Haven, said they liked to offer locally-caught fish, so triggerfish were being offered alongside sea bass, lobster and mackerel on the menu.

"They're being caught up in the lobster pots," she said.

"All the feedback we're getting is that they're very nice, quite a delicate taste with quite firm flesh."

Fishermen and divers need to be careful as they can nip you
Douglas Herdson, National Marine Aquarium

Chef Fred Bramble stuffs the fish with oranges, lemon and lime and cooks for about 15 minutes.

"It's a bit like sea bass - a Mediterranean-type fish."

Douglas Herdson, of the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, said triggerfish had started appearing in greater numbers off the coasts of Wales and south and west England 15 years ago, with a survey three years ago finding 200 separate records.

"They've spread further north, you hear of them in north Wales now, and around 15 years ago we had reports of 100 or so around Mumbles pier near Swansea," he said.

"Numbers seem to vary from year to year and we really don't know what's happening with them.

"It doesn't seem to me much point in them migrating across from France just to go back again. I strongly suspect they may be breeding here now, but I'd like someone to give me the proof."

The fish can be a little fierce, with their sharp teeth.

"We once put a camera in a tank and the sharks ignored it but the triggerfish tried to nip through the wires," said Mr Herdson.

"Fishermen and divers need to be careful as they can nip you."


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