Come Fuh Yuh Flyin Fish

Flying Fish and Coucou - National Dish of Barbados

There was a time in Barbados – seems like a long time ago, – when eating two or three flying fish at the dinner table was a routine affair. It is no secret that flying fish have become a scare commodity in the seas off Barbados. This is the time of the year, Eastertide, when flying fish is sought after in keeping with rich Bajan tradition. Flying fish (fish) and coucou remains a popular dish on Good Friday.

The BU household has many fond memories of eating flying fish prepared the old time way; de tail push in de mout and heavily seasoned, oftentimes with the homemade variety. The delight derived from searching in hidden spaces for fish secreted away behind the gills or chewing the tail fin until it disappears in dust seems to be a tradition now forgotten like most things Bajan.

We now live in times when it is common to see a long parade of cars at the drive-thrus, whether KFC or Chefette fast food restaurants. Thankfully BU household’s table come tomorrow will continue to cling to the Bajan tradition of eating fish (flying fish) and coucou at lunch time.

45 thoughts on “Come Fuh Yuh Flyin Fish

  1. At the prices nowadays, it’s really a delicacy,more like sea eggs and dolphin rowe, fry cakes and roast box fish. These are the sweetie of the lot, and ole sea village boy can attest. Onions wishes all blessing for the season, and goodwill to your kin.

  2. Thankfully BU household’s table come tomorrow will continue to cling to the Bajan tradition of eating fish (flying fish) and coucou at launch time.

  3. Thankfully BU household’s table come tomorrow will continue to cling to the Bajan tradition of eating fish (flying fish) and coucou at launch time.
    You sure ? in these hard times……….more like mackerel and sardines for me…I better go up @ Illaro Court..

  4. the only old tradition i hold to, is reflecting on the fact that Jesus paid a price for my sins. i notice nowadays that the price of fish become pretty pricey around this time. i would never be blackmailed. tomorrow, i will used left over baked chicken and pasta. tradition really is valueless

    • @smooth Chocolate

      Surely you missed the bigger point? Even the religion you profess to follow is built on a heavy dose of tradition.

  5. For the first time that I know about, this fishing season and the one before has not yielded the type of catches that many bajans are accustom too. Fish prices are high because the season was a poor one. Most fishing boats are coming back home with less than 5000 flying and in some cases none at all. Seems like hard times hit we all around. Even the fish looking better waters.

  6. I would hope that they would discover what has affected the waters around our most fertile fishing grounds. Because if the season is only going to last this long heaven help all those fisherfolk who depend on the deep blue sea for their livelihood.

  7. De fish up by Tobago waters. maam..The fishermen afraid to go in dem waters….After the last hostile incident by the lovable Trinidad and ToBadoes….Nuttin ain’t effect the waters except fear …and vexation fa no fishing agreement …think dem fishermen lookin fa DEAD? Who cud blame them…If ya doubt me let we go fishing tonight at Brandons maam..see how many lil grunts and nin nins we go catch. D fish wants to know why no body ain’t wants to hold dem…as if dem is leper.

  8. There are many things that are happening now that did not happen before in Barbados.

    There are many non-occurences that are happening now, that did not happen before in Barbados.

    And these unprecedented events and non-events are as far the collective memory of the country says it is.

    It is entirely unheard of that a Barbadian fisherperson would spend more than five days at sea and returned to the his/her base ( in this case the Bridgetwon Fisheries Complex) with only TEN flying fish (Source Weekend Nation Newspaper, April 5, 2012). Such is unbelievable.

    John Bascombe, the fisherperson in question, said he has never seen it nothing like this before.

    A very reverential Good Friday to many.


  9. People must realize that overfishing will deplete our fish stock as well as seasons change with time, we must learn to adapt.

  10. @Islandgal

    1. I eating curry chicken and rice today leftovers and um gine eat too sweet!
    Don’t you know it’s a mortal sin to eat any animal flesh other than fish on Good Friday? That means you are going straight to hell but you already knew that 🙂 ( the experts may weigh in on whether fish are animals).

    About your other points; Marine biologists and or Oceanographers seem to be in short supply in Barbados everyone wants to be a Lawyer/cum politician or a Doctor. An Oceanographer would explain that fish shortages are temporary (fish swim) (unless there is massive overfishing) and is not any Gov’ts fault . I also heard that there are Japanese trawlers fishing in the area off the East Coast of Barbados, if that’s true heaven help all a wunna.

  11. The thinking in Bim seems to be that there is an inexhaustible supply of fish (Onions has been constantly preaching that he can’t get any Flying Fish and has to live on Sardines) but like everything else if you you overfish and don’t conserve and protect your reserves any variety of fish can go the way of the Passenger Pigeon.

    Bajans used to consume a lot of Salt Fish (Cod) but the “Salt Fish” that you may see on your grocery shelf may well be salted Pollock or some other variety of fish.Why? Well the Canadian Gov’t has had a moratorium on fishing of Cod since 1992 because of the depletion of stocks through over fishing. The modern fishing vessels have technology that can catch schools of fish and we cant predict with any certainty the number of fish left in the same way we can predict the volume of oil reserves.

    In fact Canada and Spain had a war of words over Spanish overfishing of Turbot in Canadian waters and a Spanish fishing captain was arrested and had his boats seized at that time, more recently the Americans and Canada are at loggerheads over a Tuna Fishing Agreement which allowed fishermen from both countries to fish in their respective waters. It seems that when the Agreement was signed 25 years ago most of the Tuna was in Canadian waters and the Americans would go up to fish ,now the Tuna have migrated to the US side and the Americans don’t want the Canadians coming down to catch “their” fish. So much for NAFTA

  12. Left over chicken soup today, with yellow split peas, sweet pototoes, yam, pumpkin, butternut squash, carrots, onions, and a nice big bunch of herbs (Note: plural herbs, not singular herb) from my favourite rastaman vendor who sells by Cheapside.

    I was in “Popular” on Wednesday and even there frozen flying fish were $19.99 for 10. I like flying fish but not so much that I am willing to pay $2.00 for one. So I did not buy.

    So Sargeant it looks as though I will be joining islandgal246 in hell.

    • @Random Thoughts

      You do the ants in the winter and store in times of plenty. It is the purpose of a Freezer.

  13. Random Thoughts

    I was just having some fun at Islandgal’s expense, Bajans for the most part eat fish on Good Friday but won’t go into the sea. They are not alone many other cultures eat Fish on Good Friday, the Jamaicans like their “Fish & Bun”and in Canada the Fish & Chip shops are crowded. However by Easter Sunday all bets are off for the rest of the livestock that means Turkeys, Pigs & Cows are on the endangered list.

  14. no meat for me today ! my jamaican friend gave me Escovich fish and bun and cheese! not much of a traditionalist but i enjoy the hype and trappings. but to come to think of it people complain dat the fish expensive but would go to the KFC and buy and some greasy chicken fuh much more and the worst part it contributes to an unhealthy lifestyle, but who am i to say.

  15. It is time that Barbadians recognize that things will not always be like in days gone and make adaptations. I was in New York year before and a Bajan lady offered us fried Tilapia for lunch. Well I never ate tilapia before because I knew it was a fresh water fish reared on fish farms and never liked fresh water fish. The fish was sweeter than flying fish. Today I had tilapia for lunch. The fillets are sold at Price mart with about 14 fillets for $17.41.
    These fish can be reared in a tank in the yard and can grow to over a pound. I think there are some persons here doing tilapia farming.
    With these fish being consumed by Barbadians more and more then Trinidad can keep their flying fish which are migratory fish anyhow.
    We can then substitute flying fish for tilapia and Cou Cou
    Only offering a solution onions not looking for no political long talk.

  16. @ ac
    The man doing nothing for the fisher folk… Bajan…Talapia what those fish (all river fish) prone to absorbing lead and mercury.but I don’t blame him..I blame you kno who .

  17. Any fishing agreement with Trinidad and Tobago yet?

    I was at the political meeting where I was told that this could me settled over a bowl of won-ton soup at Bathsheba.

    Nearly 5 years have passed. Where is the fishing agreement. Just ate a bit of Canadian canned salmon, but I really want to sink my teeth in good Bajan fish.

  18. Maybe he who spoke spoke of won-ton soup, because he knew very well that there would be no fish soup for we Bajans.

    I want fish soup. I want fish soup. I want fish soup.

  19. But onions where would the heavy metals come from if they are kept in tanks on farms or in your yard.
    By the way onions some of your favourite fish from the sea are full of heavy metals such as tuna, marlin and shark

  20. Clone I was wondering the same thing. I know that barracuda is another dangerous fish when grown because of the mercury content and from feeding on the reef.
    Onions you keep talking through your rear! Plug it up!

  21. @ island gal

    Why you keep bothering ole onions, lleave he alone. what difference does it make if he talk through the rear or the ear afterall they both belong to him .i wonder how ole he his maybe a rear sign of ole age,

  22. LOLL AC he talking for the sake of talking like he tek over from our good friend Terrence Blackett who would ask questions and answer them as well. I wonder what happened to Terrence? Terrence you gone like Bonny? Oh how I miss my Bonny! BONNY COME BACK !

  23. @ all ya
    Wait what is you all’s problem ?I s there no wheat amongst you chaffs ? True knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance. And in your all’s case the wait shall be eternity. Have a little respect will you .. Good Friday…ac ..I expect better.

  24. The last time I made an inquiry about T M Blackett my post mysteriously disappeared, I thought that he must have offended David so he removed all traces of his existence.

  25. By the way ..tell that Sin John black eyed pea she needs the Lord.
    Tell her she would also know about holes and empty vessel …enuff for the all enjoy.

  26. Ac you smell someting? Ah smelling someting real stink bout hey, smell like rotten onions! Lemme get muh smellin salts ah gone !Nite nite!

  27. Islandgal stop giving Onions a hard time, can’t you see his brain (Miller) is missing? When Miller returns Onions will be fine, in the meanwhile he sounds like King Dyal.

  28. Sarge
    I hope a bull moose runs up to your door and smash in your TV…so you cant watch the Golden Girls tonight…lol nor cricket for that matter. King Dyal ? He dead ever long time sense….remember if you called out HOG FOOD…when he was around….boy Sarge..ya cuss. Have you ever heard about his cousins Spiderman and Spiderwoman? …David should run an article about these old street characters,,,,,,they did get lick down by a Fire Engine…who does ever get lick down by a fire engine ? Cheezon den but true.

  29. Onions

    You have been quoting Dead poets for a while now so why shouldn’t I revive a dead street character? And your most recent quotes seemed to be similes for “Cattle” thus the King Dyal reference.

    Somebody get lick down by a Fire brigade? Now that’s funny

  30. I read a post where someone said over fishing. I really do not know what that mean in a big ass ocean that has been fished by many around the world from Jesus days and beyond.

    Someone said the flying fish in Tobago. Is that really so? Because the reports are that the flying fish is no longer in the Caribbean waters.

  31. Reports from where and by whom ? Last check my aide and confidante .a rigger, reports that the Gulf of Peria loaded with the devil even becoming nuisances to oil men….check your sources…

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