Sunday, April 08, 2012

Maryland = No Marineland

Look! It's a piranha! It's a snake!
No it's... the Fish From Hell! The Snakehead Fish!
It's coming to get you - on land, too!
No more 'fish out of water' jokes - no more!
It'll munch on anything: your toes will do just fine...
And they come much bigger than this one too...

What other conclusion could we possibly jump to, here, on aqua musings, as we read this tiny bit news coming out of swamp land there: Maryland offering $200 gift cards for dead snakehead fish

A bounty - a bonafide bounty, for crying out loud - on the head of a poor innocent sea creature that just wants one thing: survive and has the unfortunate (in this case, it is unfortunate - for it) ability to tread on the surface with the rest of us and bite through anything, even steel-caps!

And what do the run-of-the-mill surface-dwellers do?
They want to hunt it down and make it outright disappear!

Poseidon would be offended that I wouldn't blame him one iota - that is, if he existed at all.

The Sideshow's Eric Pfeiffer must have had fun reporting this over at the big Y there - but he failed to ask the essential question: and that is whether we aren't messing with the eco-balance of things here, with the Law of Nature here, by interfering and stepping in as the so-called ''fish from hell'' aka the sneaky but smart snakehead fish takes its next step towards world domination?

Who are we to interfere? Maybe this is the natural cycle of things transpiring here...? Perhaps the snakehead fish is meant to decimate the bass population indeed...?

Sorry, if this sounds insensitive towards all Sea Bass fans out there - I love the Boston Bruins, too, but this is not about Dirty Water here; not this time, no!

This is about the same darn thing we do in all other circumstances: we honor a policy of non-interference with the wild. We pollute it, sure - but that is only in the carrying-on of our daily routines; so it's not supposed to count (?) nor qualify (really disqualify us, rather) as a sin against Gaea... We trash several natural habitats, in hopes of short-term gain - but that's okay, too. That's capitalism. We poach and we hunt at will, depending on the season (but still): that's leisure time activities. We use the seas as an underwater junkyard - but the fish seldom complain. The few times that they do, their version of the ''99%'' protests has them showing up massively on some of the unlikeliest beaches - all dead. We have trimmed down the coral reef to a mere fraction of a fraction of what it used to be and what it should be - but it's not like it can hop on the ground and bite us in the rear end, in retaliation, now is it?

The thing about our snakehead fishie here is that it sure can hop on the ground and bite us just about everywhere it sees fit to.

And that doesn't sit well with most everybody - Sea Bass and Luminous Luciano included. (Not that we hang around Maryland, mind you - but, hey, you never know!)

Plus, as previously mentioned, it is perpetrating a sort of aquatic genocide upon the bass populations there, taking over all of the spawning territory that remains (and man, in its fishing prowess, has made sure there are only limited seats available for that as well - limited and easy of reach for the Sunday morning ''sportsman fisherman'' enthusiast, yes...)

So, we intervene whenever there is a genocide going on among surface-dwellers: likewise, we have to intervene when it is a fishy genocide, wherein a kind of fish that cannot come back at us and bite our fingers off when we bait it and fish it out of the water mercilessly, taunting it cruelly before we throw it back (if it is ever thrown back) is in danger of being completely devastated and, Lord Have Mercy, made unavailable to us for further sports fishing activities and aquamusements on our lazy week-end mornings...!

How convenient.
How American.

And so, now, to further encourage the indirect protection of the bass population, the active hunting down and extermination of the snakehead fish is being encouraged -online, too- by a bounty!

I can see it now! Picture a 'WANTED' poster with the photograph seen at the top of this piece right here magnified on it - and it reads: ''WANTED - for genocide against the bass and threatening our kids' little toes - THE SATANIC SNAKEHEAD FISH!''
Sure: let's demonize the creature that only does what every other creature with the strive to stay alive will do: try and sustain itself, spawn and perpetrate its own kind! So, it's been a little rough on the basstitches - but it isn't like we haven't been rough on them, too!

Good ol'Snakehead is one tough, slippery and sneaky sonovabeach though, you know: it won't be caught easily and it sure won't die easily either! Those interested in the (rather modest) bounty have to SHOOT the things dead in order to get the job done! Pass the ammo, mateys! Yikes...

One word about the bounty that was set: two-hundred bucks is not too much, nor is too small an amount for the trouble it costs here. A bullet per snakehead - it adds up, you know! And that is if you're anything close to a good shot at all! The snakehead fish can get away and is not afraid of much: it could attack your kitty, doggy, bunny, squirrels, skunks, rats - anything that moves! Hopefully the case will be reported of a bunch of snakeheads that ganged up on thy neighbour's python pet: now that would be biblical! But that's just the Hebrew in me talking now...
(Hey - it is Easter, right?)

The Hunger Games - aquatic and very fishy version of them, anyhow - are open!
May the best fishhead win!

Good Old Sea Bass 
now HE would know how to handle 
a situation like this! 
he has other B's to care about these days -
for the hunger games in Maryland are nothing
in comparison to the upcoming
Stanley Cup Playoffs on ice!
He's AQUANEELY though - not ICENEELY!
(Meaning: his playing days are long over - snif!)
So, we can hope for his intervention...
still... maybe... 

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Blogger T. Brook Smith said...

Interesting perspective. I haven't read your blog and I don't know much about your perspective but you do realize (yes?) that there is a far wider effort to resist invasive species than just this bounty on the snakehead.

Despite some (poorly framed) recent arguments that the resistance in the conservation community toward invasive species has to do with some kind of latent tendancy toward xenophobia, the real motivation has to do with basic principles of ecology. Invasive species, especially top predators like the snake head, often have disproportionately large effects on native species. In some cases, such as the Rift Lakes in Africa, introduced predators have been responsible for wiping out whole species. Sport fish introductions are probably responsible in part for the decline in amphibians.

You're also aware (yes?) that there are legions of people out there who are wreaking a modicum of havoc on the species of fish that are already here. Why not point them in the direction of a potentially harmful species.

Bounties on invasive species (and yes, they don't work and yes, the hype about the threat from individual snakeheads has been ridiculous...National Geographic should be ashamed) are typically short-lived and typically focus attention on a problem. If a few fishers decide they like catching (and perhaps eating) snakeheads, why not prime the pump. Fewer is better when invasive species are concerned. Bounties on lionfish in the Caribbean didn't last long, but they did precipitate interest in lionfish tournaments which are ongoing and redirect spearfishing effort on a problematic invasive species and off native fisheries.

6:18 AM  
Blogger Luminous (\ô/) Luciano ™ said...

Yes, tis all a question of perspective - yes? Oh yes - it most definitely is! Indubitably!

Tongue-firmly-in-cheek, said cheek slightly twisted, also, by the sarcastic smirk upon it, and a somewhat maniacal twinkle in the eye - that is all that would be required to firmly grasp what this perplexing perspective might be all about! Yes? Yes! Most definitely!

Glad that you stopped by, T, and entertained us with the other side of this moribund sea there - but really, it wasn't all that necessary for I dare hope that anyone who chances by my piece here will see the sarcasm therein (which reaches its apex with the inclusion of Sea Bass. Yes.)

You don't want to get me started on the topic of introduced predators or any other form of intros that mankind has been doing all over nature, T - you won't be done reading and replying to it until 2013!

The whole idea is that indeed: we mess with nature's success, we irremediably mess it up. Sure, let invasive jeepers creepers get it on the chin - alas, it does not guarantee that the rest of the seas will be spared, not in the long run. While the bounty hunters are amused, sure, it will. When they feel like frying other fish, though, they will. I am sure even bozos like those can multi-task - absolutely sure.

Ecological concerns will always take a backseat to everything else. It is the sad reality: and here, at aqua musings, we'd rather turn it on its head and mock it (and the hypocrisy around it) rather than cringe in utter frustration and go crazy in the process.

Come again, T - I like that nifty avatar that you've got there!


8:28 PM  

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