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Friday, July 01, 2005

Catfish the size of a Grizzly Bear

How's this for a catch: at 646 pounds, this giant 9-foot catfish from the Mekong River in Thailand is not only the largest freshwater fish ever caught, it's about the size of an adult male grizzly bear. You can more read about the fish here and here.

I found it funny that while "environmentalists and officials negotiated for its release to allow it to spawn" (guys, a fish this size has been spawning for a LONG time already!), the fish "died and was eaten by the fisherman" (which is WHY they were fishing! They were HUNGRY!!!). I wonder how many people a fish that size would feed?


At 6:30 PM, July 01, 2005, Anonymous Uncle Jake said...

This falls into one of my areas of interest/ expertise.

This is alledgedly the biggest freshwater fish on record being caught; so I am going to assume a few things about this species of catfish.

Most like this fish is very close to the end of its natural lifespan (actually, it was at the end of its life, but had it not been caught, it probably would have died in the next 18 mos.). Fish in particular, and all animals in general, do their most productive reproduction between 40% and 70% of their lifespan. By the time they reach 70% (if), the biological funtion of reproduction is greatly reduced, allowing energy inpuct to go towards substantial growth, instead of using that energy for the purpose of finding a mate, protecting the mate, mating, and then any other stuff afterwards (protecting offspring, etc. if applicable). So our fish most likely has not been doing effective spawning in the last couple years.

Secondly, these monster fish are a biomass dimple in their ecosystem that disrupts the general health of the eco system by the quality and quanity of food they reserve from the system, while making a positive contribution to the overall system. In plain english, this fish is taking calories away from the other fish that are actually necessary for the genetic health of that particular brood stock. Generally speaking, a large number of fish that fall into the 95 percentile for that species does not constitute a healthy ecosystem.

Finally, the worst possible scenario for a species within an ecosystem is to totally remove all predation. Study after study has proven among all organisms that mild to moderate predation is necessary for optimum individual and group growth, genetic diversity, and relation to the ecosystem as a whole.

This fish needed to be caught to make room for the smaller fishes, it needed to be killed to improve the genetic diversity, and it needed to be eaten to redistribute it's enrgy farther thoughout the ecosystem and constitute an interest among the people in conserving their natural resources and having a continual daily interface with their ecosytem as a whole.

How's them apples?

At 7:40 PM, July 01, 2005, Blogger Christian said...

Spoken like a true Cryder...

At 6:51 PM, July 03, 2005, Anonymous Uncle Jake said...

mea culpa on all the typo's....


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