Today we bring to our series of articles the species of fish the grouper and the comb grouper. They belong to the family of serranids which live on the rocky sea bed. These fish are hermaphrodites (having both male and female sex organs) and tend to live alone. They are relatives of the damselfish (Pomacentridae) and the comber (serranus cabrilla.)
What is amazing about these fish is that they trust humans, which is unbelievable if you bear in mind that both are coveted pieces for any fisherman. In spite of this, if we approach them in the right way, we can play with these fish unlike any other species which we can find hanging out on Guanarteme beach.
The behaviour of these fish towards the camera is curious and surprising. At first visual contact, they instinctively swim away and hide behind the first rock they find, but not very far away. Then, after few seconds they poke their heads out and stare you straight in the eye. Little by little, they overcome their fear and get cheerfully close to the lens. That is the reason why it is so difficult for the photographer to get full lateral shots of these fish and why it is so easy for a diver with a harpoon to kill them with a clean shot right between the eyes.
Here I have posted some pictures of our friends which I took today. It is a pity they have such a bad life – the comb grouper is delicious with papas arrugás (small Canary potatoes) and the grouper is an unrivalled ingredient of fish soup. Even so, they continue to play with us under the water. What innocent creatures!
Translation: Students from the 2nd Year 2008 at the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.