Seeking an easy way to prepare fish at home, many families in the developed world turn to fish fillets. Grilled, sautéed or fried, the fish is ready to eat in minutes, having been pre-scaled, pre-gutted, deboned and pre-packaged before it arrives at the local supermarkets. But what happens to those fish scraps that are stripped away?
In Uganda, a landlocked east African country hit by fish scarcity, these scraps or fish bones are called fille, after the late musician Philly Lutaya, whose bony frame shocked Ugandans in the early 1990s when he publicly announced that he was dying of AIDS. While fillets – with a ‘t’ – are exported for consumption in the rich North, fille – the fish bones without a ‘t’ – are left for the locals to scavenge on.