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For the youngest in the house, the ones that will complain during dinner, organize a competition of collecting the most “buttons” from a meal on their plate. The favourite summer dinner of fishermen used to be boiled skate! It was at a time when the nets and longlines rose from the depths of the sea with the help of muscles alone, relying only on hands, and the winch was introduced only later, as a rescue. A fisherman’s day began early, at the crack of dawn, when he went to boot the nets, then sort the fish, deliver it to the customer, and finally clean and prepare the nets for the next fishing. Meanwhile, depending on the physical and spiritual condition of the fishing troupe, and weather conditions, long lines would be attached and thrown into the sea, in order to catch something more. Of course, the tendency was to catch better, high-quality fish, such as common dentex, or red porgy. Red scorpionfish, weever, black seabream and piper gurnard would also be welcomed. But wishes were one thing, and reality another. Wildlife would often be caught on the longline, marine wildlife of course, a term which describes a wild variety of fish whose skeleton is made of cartilage. The best known ones are the various species of sharks and dogfish, which fishermen did not consider to be sharks. A long time ago, and even then very rarely, a monkfish, which was a good catch, was known to be caught, but they would more often catch an eagleray, which was not in the least appreciated. Among all this wildlife there were several kinds of skate, but the most appreciated one was the thornback ray or simply skate with “buttons”. The fishermen were pleased when they caught it. It was prey that ended up on the table, a plate in front of the fisherman’s hungry mouth.

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