Melville demonstrated that there is little about humanity one cannot illuminate by considering the fish. One great test of our humanity in coming years is whether we can show the forethought and restraint to limit our catches and preserve these species of fish. The caught (fast) fish and the free (loose) fish, to Melville, were paradigmatic. "What are the sinews and souls of Russian serfs and Republican slaves but Fast-Fish ...? What to the ostentatious smuggling verbalists are the thoughts of thinkers but Loose-Fish? . . . And what are you, reader, but a Loose-Fish and a Fast-Fish, too?" Let the groundfish be our paradigm. White of flesh, mild to the point of blandness, passively lurking among the dregs to snatch up scraps from more active specimen: what is the contemporary Mainer but a Ground-Fish?

3Buoys Seafood Shanty & Grille | 111 Cumberland Ave, Portland | 207.619.7565

Taqueria Tequila | 249 St John St, Portland | 207.774.7773

Taco Escobarr | 548 Congress St | 207.541.9097 | tacoescobarr.com

Old Port Sea Grill | 93 Commercial St, Portland | 207.879.6100 | theoldportseagrill.com

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