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More Thoughts On Capture Of 100 Year Old Fish—Those Fishermen Were Out There Catching Our Dinner

Two days ago I wrote about the capture of a 100 year old rockfish off the coast of Alaska. (I’ve looked it up and these fish do not seem to live off the Texas coast. If anyone knows different please tell me.) My friend Lyuba had the following thoughts about the unlucky fish— 

I was saddened and annoyed for the rockfish as well.  However, after reading the article off of the BBC site, I am not sure that the fishermen would have any way of knowing that this guy was in fact over 100 years old when they first caught him and that they should throw him back in.  It seemed to me that the scientists were the ones that discovered his age.  On the flip-side, they may have very well known and still not have shown this guy any mercy. 

It is possible that the questions that we would want to ask of the fishermen would be along the lines of did they know that this was a very old fish just by looking at him?  If so, why was he not spared?  Could a fish this old even be used for food?  What made the fishermen bring the fish to the scientists once he was caught?  Was it the fact that they realized that they had a very old fish on their hands and they wanted publicity and fame? Whether or not fishermen think about the animals’ well being, I do not know.

Also, I don’t know which one would be bigger, the fish or the fisherman’s ego for catching such a fish therefore decreasing the possibility that the fish ever had a chance.  The fact that this guy had made it 100 years is both amazing and a miracle.  He is an inspiration to all!

I had already considered many of the questions Lyuba has asked about the fish. An additional question might be, since I eat fish, do I bear a measure of responsibility, beyond this one oddball incident, for the overfishing of the seas?

Based on my value system I’d say that I do. I’m aware of overfishing issues and I’ve done nothing to address the problem beyond reading a book on the subject. I read The Empty Ocean by Richard Ellis. There are types of fish I won’t order at restaurants because I don’t want them to go extinct. But that’s all I’ve done.

Of course, there is a role for government regulation here. Since I don’t believe the fishing industry will anything unless forced, it’s up to governments to address this issue. Depletion of resources is a concern our elected representatives must face.

What might be most rotten about the capture of the 100 year old rockfish is how people bring trouble wherever they go. I’d like to think that something that had lasted 100 years might be left to die in peace. I guess that is too much to ask for in this world.

We are everywhere and we disturb everything.     

April 12, 2007 Posted by | Books, Sea Life | 12 Comments