Venetian Lagoon Grass Goby

Ark of taste
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The grass goby (Zozterisessor ophiocephalus) is a typical fish of the Venetian lagoon, where it is present in great quantities. It is a fish that generally prefers living in areas where the banks are muddy and rich in algae and small organisms such as benthos, small crustaceans, and molluscs.

The grass goby is a fish of medium-small dimensions, around 30 centimetres long. Its eyes are positioned on the upper part of its head. Its skin is very soft and covered in scales. Its mouth is fleshy and contains curved teeth. The grass goby has two pectoral fins: The first is very long and has six spines, while the second is very soft and has 15 spines. The skin in yellowish green, darker above than below, with black blotches. In its natural habitat, the grass goby digs small burrows in which the female deposits her eggs in spring.

Commercial fishing of this species takes place with fixed nets called martevelli that have a low environmental impact, and with special traps called chebe da gò. The grass goby is a very popular species in the local markets, and is used in many different local recipes, such as risotto; it is also often fried, and used to be eaten accompanied by a piadina, rosemary, and other herbs. It can be easily mistaken for less enjoyable species such as the black goby (Gobius niger) and the rock goby (Gobius paganellus). In the past, when the economy was struggling, the grass goby was the food of the poor, and was used also for barter or in monetary transactions.

The grass goby used to be abundant in the Venetian Lagoon, but its population has declined in recent years due to environmental changes and a reduction of grassy habitats where this species reproduces.

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Territory

StateItaly
Region

Veneto

Production area:Venezia