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The Velvet Whalefish, Barbourisia rufa, added to California's Marine Fauna, with Notes on Otoliths of Whalefishes and Possible Related Genera


John E. Fitch





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California's north coast trawl fishermen normally sort their catches at sea and deliver the most desirable species (rockfishes, Sebastes spp. and Sebastolobus spp.; sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria; lingcod, Ophiodon elongatus; and several kinds of pleuronectid flatfish) in a fresh state to shoreside markets where most are filleted, packaged, and frozen. If, when sorting his catch, a fisherman finds what he believes is a rare or unusual fish, mollusk, crustacean, or other organism he often will leave it at the market with a request that it be placed in their freezer and saved for the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG). Similarly, if while processing a load, plant personnel encounter an "odd-ball" (some animal of unusual color, size, or condition; or an organism that is tagged or one that cannot be identified by those present at the time; etc.) that specimen too will be saved.