If you have visited Madeira, or should ever do.. There isn’t many Madeiran restaurants where you don’t find the traditional black scabbard fish or.
It’s a ~meter long black, odd looking fish with big eyes that is often served with bananas and honey or passionfruit. The ,Espada preta’ has been a big part of the Madeiran cuisine for already centuries. Even tho it might be one of the ugliest fishes you’ve seen, its worth giving it a try and experiencing a part of Madeiras Tradition.
The big eyes are just one adaptation to its life in at around 1000 meters depth.
The method of fishing black scabbard fish, is still today very rudimentary: A long pole with several long lines with hooks attached is being let into the water with bait (mostly Squid) attached to the hooks. Nowadays the retrieving of the line is made with motors, but back in the days traditional boats, ike our charming Ribeira Brava, that our founder restored to use for Whale watching was used for those purposes and all work was done by hand and human strength.
The difference is pressure would mostly kill the fish and so there is the myth that no one ever has seen a Espada alive.
Our todays sighting special includes the mystical Blainville Beaked Whales (Mesoplodon densirosris), a small pod of Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops Truncatus), our all time Atlantic Spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) and a small Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta). For more Info about Beaked Whales – check our Blog posts from the 23.07.22
Von Paulina Kalita
Sightings of the day
10:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins
15:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins, Loggerhead Turtle, Blainville Beaked Whales
09:30 Atlantic spotted dolphins
14:00 Bottlenose dolphins, Loggerhead Turtle
17:00 Blainville Beaked Whale, Loggerhead Turtle