Dodgy details about the Ballan Wrasse

Recently interest in this fish seems to have hit a new high so we thought it might be useful to draw together some useful facts about this little known marine wonder.

The latin name of the Ballan Wrasse is Labrus bergylta and it also known as the "King Fish". Ask anyone about the Ballan Wrasse and they are almost certain to refer to it as "That 'king fish". The Ballan Wrasse can live for an inordinate length of time and many observers believed that they were, actually, mythical creatures and thus lived forever. Recent  work by Rick Stein however shows that they rarely survive any encounter with a well prepared batter and nicely heated friture.

Ballan Wrasse taking some sun

The Ballan Wrasse is an accomplished swimmer and was once picked for the British Olympic squad but dropped in favour of Duncan Goodhew when advertisers found he was more photogenic and could attract more money as an after dinner speaker than a fish.

It is a solitary fish, preferring to take a glass of red wine and listen to a few Octals on the radio rather than spending time out at the pub drinking strategically but they do get a bit riotous if there is nothing on TV and they pop down to The Walnut Tree for a swift half before News at Ten.

Not a Ballan Wrasse

As the image to the right shows Ballan Wrasse can be very dexterous and it is believed that their hand shaped fins gave Captain Birds-Eye the idea which led him to be able to afford a small atoll in the South Seas on which to build his retirement home.

It is thought that the Ballan Wrasse is probably happiest when nestled in a nice warm blanket of orange-coloured breadcrumbs.

Fish like cooking and can be very good with chips

There has been some dispute about the size and weight of the Ballan Wrasse. The image at the top of the page shows an immature fish practising some tricks in the hope of being spotted by talent scouts from Seaworld in Florida. The lucky few who are picked will give displays to the paying public in return for their own heated swimming pool, 30 days off each year and a tax-free lump sum and pension upon retirement.

The unlucky ones get a breadcrumb coat and help pay for Captain Birds-Eye's cheap panatellas and keep him in Gilbeys Gin.

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Another fish

Nogbad the Bad