Cynoglossus (TongueFish) is a genus of fish in the family Cynoglossidae. They are commonly found in shallow waters on a muddy or sandy bottom, including estuaries and a few species are restricted to fresh water.
The fresh fish look like human tongue, if boiled or cooked water easily penetrate through and become softer while consuming it. When water escaped the is drained off the skin the skin becomes harder. Also if it is well smoked, the skin becomes a leather-like tissue.
Sourcing From The Wild
Most tongue fishes are being caught by fishermen using fishing nets in large quantities. Such nets are 3 to 4 inches meshed. They are scarcely found in the wild. Some species are being harvested by fishermen during the harmattan.
The common tonguefish is well known for it’s meaty and long lasting edible quality if well smoked. It last longer than most other common fishes like tilapia, catfish and bonga if well smoked and. It can last for months if after being smoked maintained by sundrying.
In Nigeria fresh tonguefish is rarely sold as fresh but when it is smoked the value increases. Most Tonguefish are fetched from the Niger Delta regions using monofilament fishing nets.
They are usually round folded before smoking them to avoid easily getting broken. The Ilaje people call it Abo.