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illustration: tiger shark

March 17, 2018

tiger_shark_by_al_lau

As menacing people think this apex predator is, sharks are actually endangered, sad to say. They are an important key to balancing the ocean’s ecosystem.

My Tiger Shark is simply enjoying her life in the bountiful sea.

This my “green” drawing. Happy St. Patty’s Day!

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Dungeness Crab Version 2

Along the west coast of America, up to the Pacific Northwest, lives the Dungeness Crab. It is one of the larger family of crabs. Their name is derived from Dungeness, a fish port town in Puget Sound, Washington state. Their lifespan is about 10 years. Commercially caught Dungeness Crabs are usually around 5 years old when their shells reach 6 to 7 inches wide. Crabs grow through a process called molting where it sheds its shell for a new, larger one. Each time this happens, the crab grows 15 to 25%. They can be found in muddy/sandy portions of estuaries with eelgrass, along rocky shores, or as deep as 2000 feet in the ocean where they forage for small fish and invertebrates, such as clams and mussels.

Here is some good news. In a world full of so many threatened species of sea life, Dungeness crabs are actually a very good choice as a sustainable food source.  Regulations is saving the species. For example, in Canada, Dungeness Crab fisheries have catch size limitations. This protects male crabs until they are sexually mature, giving them the chance to spawn before being harvested. Female crabs are also protected by having fishing season restrictions.

What is your favorite prepared way to eat crab?  Mine is Hong Kong-style which is stir-fried in a wok and tossed with soy sauce, green onions, and lots of scrambled egg. Yummy.

I have painted a Dungeness Crab before, however, my approach toward doing watercolor has changed over time, so this is version 2 of the beloved tasty subject.

illustration: blue crab

August 28, 2014

blue_crab_by_al_lau

I’ve painted this crab species before, though the creative process feels fresh because it’s been over a year ago and I use a different crabbie for reference. Plus, this particular Blue Crab is displaying a wonderful spectrum of colors which is a pleasure for me to do in watercolor.

grouper_by_al_lau
Groupers are solitary fish that can swallow their prey whole by inhaling through their powerful mouths and gills. Due to their stout shape, groupers cannot swim fast or far. Instead, they hover near the bottom, virtually disappearing with complex camouflage skin patterns against the rocks or coral reef.

If the Goliath Grouper wasn’t threatened by over-fishing pressure, they could live as long as 50 years. Its slow growth and low reproductive rate doesn’t help its population either.

The largest recorded capture of a Goliath Grouper in Florida weighed over 650 pounds.

illustration: yellowfin tuna

November 14, 2013

yellowfin_tuna_by_al_lau

This is my drawing of a Yellowfin.

Yellowfin Tuna are migratory fish which travel amazingly great distances in large schools in the ocean highways of the Atlantic and Pacific. Their body shape is streamlined like torpedoes, swimming as fast as 43 miles per hour. Although they can look short and stout, weights can be up to 450 pounds and length can reach 7 feet.

Unfortunately, Yellowfin Tuna populations are nearly threatened due to their heavy demand as a protein food source, their high commercial value and overfishing. One reason tuna meat is sought-after is for sushi delicacy. For the record, one tuna fish has been sold for over $700,000.

illustration: popper

March 28, 2013

fishing_lure_popper_by_al_lau

I felt like a kid painting Easter eggs when creating these drawings of different style lures.

Have Good Great Friday all.

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