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Biology/Exotic Camouflage Fish


Hey Walter,

This is more a marine biology question, but as there's no section on experts specifically for that, I'm thinking outside the box.

First some context.

I'm a screenwriter, in the middle of adapting a spy novel. I'm currently working on a scene where our hero first encounters the main villain. At a fish supper of all places on the deck of a yacht in a harbor off on the coast of Saint-Tropez.

Now through the dialogue, I want the villain to analogize the type of fish they're eating with the plight of my hero.

To explain, The hero was framed for something years before and, through plastic surgery and fake I.D. papers, assumed a new life. Until the Villain managed to track them down and lure them out of hiding by kidnapping a family member.

My thought process is that this lends itself to the analogy of a fisherman luring a fish onto his hook. Not only that, but if this fish were able to camouflage in some way, that would be a perfect comparison to my hero's attempts to blend in with his new life.

So to the question-

1) Are there any fishes or edible sea creatures (exotic, endangered or otherwise) that use chameleon/camouflage techniques to avoid predators. Even better if they can be found in waters in and around Europe (though that isn't essential).

2) Are there any unique fishing methods used to catch these fish either now or in the distant past. It would be great if my main villain could talk of unusual methods when analogizing the unusual method he used to lure the hero out of hiding.

Hopefully I've explained that well enough. I'm basically looking for an edible fish or sea creature that is hard for us to catch due to the ability to camouflage, but that fisherman have unique methods to lure out of hiding and into a net/onto a hook.

Hope you can help :)



Hi Alex
There are many sea creatures that use camouflage to survive. In fact most do. The first that comes to mind are Flounder that changes color and blends in with the sand. Another is the octopus that not only changes color but produces a cloud of black ink and when the predator attacks the cloud the animal is not there.
Most unusual is the sea cucumber. When threatened it regurgitates non vital internal organs and slithers away when a predator feeds on the material and then regenerates new organs. I am not sure how these would fit your plot.
There are several you tube videos available on the methods of catching these creatures. The Tongans have unique methods of catching Octopi
 Hope this helps you.


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Walter Hintz


Science teacher for over 50 years. MSc. in biology. I can answer questions in general biology, zoology, botany, anatomy and physiology and biochemistry.


I have a MSc in biology and have been a science teacher for over 50 years. At present I am a faculty member at a college and a science consultant at seven catholic schools.

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