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Common remora or suckerfish caught by the Fifth Expedition


Common remora or suckerfish caught by the Fifth Expedition

Laerle, Joris Joostensz.

The Moluccan fleet of the Fifth Expedition sailed to the East Indies archipelago and back to the Netherlands over the course from 1601 to 1603. Along the way, the crew would frequently catch fish from the oceans and seas that the ships traversed. Many of these were drawn in the journal of the Gelderland under the command of admiral Wolphert Harmensz., giving us insights into the great diversity of species the expedition encountered.

Joris Joostensz. Laerle, artist on board of the Gelderland, likely drew these images of a common remora (remora remora) in the journal of the flagship Gelderland. The drawings show the top and bottom of the fish in quite a lot of detail. The text under the drawings says: “This is the appearance of the suckerfish (Dutch: zuigvis) which suck on the bodies of sharks, being brown-coloured, the jaws somewhat blue and the eyes blue all around.”.

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Sources and literature

Morree, Perry, Dodo's en galjoenen: De reis van het schip Gelderland naar Oost-Indië, 1601-1603