The Barsa gives its name to
a family of similarly related ocean fish. Like the others, it is a good food
source and much sought after fishermen. Like each member of this family, it
lives in the same kind of environment, has basically the same diet and is a good
food. It differs, as the others do, by body coloring, fin structure and habitat
Appearance. The Barsa has a tapering, cylindrical body that is just over a fore in length. The head is narrow with large eyes and a large mouth filled with hundreds of small pointed canine like teeth. The gill structure has two flaps, one lying slightly behind the other, and is crescent in shaped. Fan shaped pectoral fins are located behind the gills with one small triangular pelvic fin located just below the pectoral fin. Both are a gray in color. The fan shaped anal fin is located near the tail and is also a dark gray in color. The dorsal fin starts half way between the forehead and the middle of the back and ends just short of the tail. This dorsal fin is spiky and tall in a triangular crest about a palmspan high for the first five or seven ribs. After that it is even with the ribs spaced closely together and tapers down to about three finger widths near the tail. The tail is slightly forked and also a dark gray in color. It has close fitting small scales covering the body that are a iridescent silver color that lightens to a pale gray belly. The forehead to just behind the eyes is very dark, almost black in color. It also has dark markings along its side. These markings are light in immature young and will darken as the fish matures.
Special Abilities. The Barsa has no special abilities. It is just an abundant food fish that is one of many hauled from the sea.
Territory. The Barsa ranges from the Yanthian Gulf north along the continent of Sarvonia to the Aelyvian Sea. This fish is most abundant in the areas that are fed by major rivers. They like the warmth and nutrients that these rivers bring and the teaming life supported by them. Because of this, the areas around the mouths of the mighty Mashdai and Liben rivers have the largest concentrations. Although the Barsa is abundant all along its range, during the month of the Rising Sun, the Barsa will mass in vast numbers off the coast near Carmalad. It is not known if this is triggered by some occurrence in the Wynein River. All along this range the Barsa is not found farther than two strals from shore.
Habitat/Behaviour. The Barsa, like other members of this family, does not swim in huge scuals of fish like many ocean fish do. Their scual may consist of one hundred to three hundred fish. It is not believed they are family groups but just groups that band together for some undetermined reason. It has been observed that often when two scuals pass each other, members of one or the other will join with the new group. Every during the month Frozen Rivers all mature Barsa disappear from the waters of their territory. It is not know what may cause this strange occurrence, nor where the fish are during this time.
Diet. The Barsa will feed near the bottom of the sea floor on mostly small fish but will consume soft shelled crustaceans when available. The immature young will filter plankton and small invertebrate animals from the water.
Mating. The female of the Barsa starts laying eggs when she has reached two years of age. When she is in the southern reaches of her range she will lay thousands of eggs close to shore in the vegetation. The male will come by and spread clouds of his seed in among the eggs. The eggs are somewhat protected by this vegetation and float freely until they hatch a week later. The young will stay hidden in the vegetation feeding and growing until late summer when they will emerge and join the others. These young will not move north until a bout a year of age.
Usages. The Barsa is a good tasting fish and is a staple of many inns and family meals. It is a white meat although a little dry but its taste makes up for this. It can be smoked, baked, fried or combined into many appetizing dishes like others in this family.
Information provided by Thuja