I got an interesting comment today from my email buddy and Madang – Ples Bilong Mi reader, John Belton. It is timely and pertinent to the current whoop-tee-doo in Madang, namely the 2009 GFAPNG Titles. To make things simpler and because some may miss the comment and the answer, I’ll quote his comment and quote my answer:
I sincerely hope that all of the fish caught were actually eaten. If not, then the GFAPNG should introduce catch and release competitions like most of the ones in Australia are these days. Killing fish just for a competition doesn’t sit well with me me any more.
Not a fish is wasted, John. I cast a jaundiced eye toward some fishing practices also, but these fellows are doing it the right way. I don’t know what the percentage is, but listening on the VHF radio reveals one after another report of fish that were tagged, released, and reported in for points. When I took two fishermen out on charter for two days, I was given a handful of tag cards and the little numbered tags that you stick in the fish. We caught nothing.
All of the fish that are brought back to Madang are immediately moved to a big freezer container. These fish will be given to the Madang General Hospital (I think – or some other institution or charity). As far as I can determine, not a single fish out of (guessing here from the catch numbers that I heard yesterday) about 500 fish caught during the Titles will be wasted.
A few fish will die after release from injuries sustained during capture. As near as I can see, that is the only “waste”. The truth is that most fish suffer far worse from predation by their fishy kin than they do from game fishing, IF IT IS DONE RIGHT.
Thanks for the comment, John.
For those still having problems with the concept I ask, “What about the cows?” If you’re a vegan or suffer the milder form of the disorder, a vegetarian, I ask, “What about the carrots?” (Carrots have feelings too.) The truth is, humans cannot live without eating something that has once lived. It’s nature’s way. Get used to it.
As for myself, I eat very little meat these days, mostly because I can’t afford it. Fresh fish are — strangely enough — very difficult to get here in Madang, so there are none of them in my diet.
Okay enough philosophising.
John also sent to me this link to a very interesting YouTube clip featuring the weirdest living thing that I have ever seen (and I’ve seen some very weird stuff, kiddies – I’m a connoisseur of weird):
If you yawned at that one . . .