Garfish – Fish with Green Bones (Biliverdin)In Biotechnology
The garfish (Belone belone), or sea needle, is a pelagic, oceanodromous needlefish found in brackish and marine waters of the Eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean Sea, the Baltic Sea, etc. The fish lives close to the surface and has a migratory pattern similar to that of the mackerel, arriving a short time before the latter to spawn. It is long and slender, sometimes 2 or 3 feet (0.91 m) in length. From the North Sea, garfish migrate to shallow waters in April and May. They spawn in areas with eel grass in May and June. In the autumn they return to the open sea, including the Atlantic west of the British Isles.
Garfish are pelagic. They feed on small fish and leap out of the water when hooked. The garfish are oviparous and the eggs are often found attached to objects in the water by tendrils on the egg’s surface. Garfish have unusually green bones (due to biliverdin) which discourages many people from eating them, but the green color is harmless. They are caught mainly in fixed nets along the coast in shallow waters. Garfish are eaten fried, baked, barbecued or smoked.
Photo credit: anka.anka28
Its pelvic fins are located in a posterior position as are its dorsal and anal fins. They are positioned for posterior flexing of the body.
Biliverdin is a green tetrapyrrolic bile pigment, and is a product of heme catabolism. It is the pigment responsible for a greenish color sometimes seen in bruises. Biliverdin results from the breakdown of the heme moiety of hemoglobin in erythrocytes. Macrophages break down senescent erythrocytes and break the heme down into biliverdin, which normally rapidly reduces to free bilirubin. Biliverdin is seen briefly in some bruises as a green color. Its breakdown into bilirubin in bruises, leads to a yellowish color.
Role in disease: Biliverdin has been found in excess in the blood of humans suffering from hepatic diseases. Jaundice is caused by the accumulation of biliverdin or bilirubin (or both) in the circulatory system and tissues. Jaundiced skin and sclera (whites of the eyes) are characteristic of liver failure.