Sushi and Canaries

The end is near, if you are a tuna fish. “The rage for sushi and sashimi, Japan’s raw fish dishes that overtook the West and have now spread to increasingly prosperous China, risks wiping out one of the Mediterranean’s most emblematic residents: the bluefin tuna.” according to a recent report. Shouldn’t be much of a problem though. We’ll just figure out some other fish to eat. That is what we have done all along, and it is what we’ll continue to do. There’s plenty of fish in the sea to sustain the wipe-out-and-switch strategy for at least another 15 years.

Authorities say 59 Olive Ridley turtles have been found on beaches in and around the resort of Acapulco.

Environmental protection officer Manuel de Jesus Solis says his agency found 12 dead turtles bearing marks apparently caused by fishing nets. It was unclear which fishing boats were involved.

Victor Berdejo says another 47 dead turtles were found by personnel at a turtle-protection area he supervises. [source]

Oh. OK, so we’ll be taking a few species of turtle out at the same time. Whatever.

They say that certain species are like canaries …. in the old days, when the caged canary suddenly dropped dead in the mine, the miners knew that the air had turned bad and it was time to vamoose. (That worked because canaries were more sensitive than the humans.) But while minder may have used this method to their advantage (though in truth I have no idea), we know that humans generally are too stupid to notice the canary effect or to do anything about it when it does happen.

Unless, perhaps, the canaries are Olympic athletes…

Chinese officials brushed off concerns over the city’s stubborn smog, which has triggered a warning by IOC chief Jacques Rogge that some events could be postponed if air quality is poor.

“Sometimes it looks like it’s a foggy day, but the air quality is actually good,” Sun Weide, a spokesman for the Beijing Olympic Organising Committee, told AFP.

“Our confidence is based on our 10 years of effort (to clean up the air). We are now implementing a continued plan to ensure clear air during the Olympics.”

Chinese officials routinely refer to the city’s smog as “fog”. [source]

Right. The Chinese are well known for being full of shit (the country, the government, not people who happen to be chines) to a greater extent than most nations. And this may be a case of shit that will result in a heart attack there, an asthmatic attack there, as we watch the world’s top athletes compete …. to breath. I wonder, which of the various athletics are most likely to be affected? Where aerobics and lung capacity is the most critical? Long distance running? Sprints? If the IOC is actually considering postponing some events, I wonder which events they are most worried about.


  1. #1 xiphias
    July 27, 2008

    Thanks- we appreciate your pointing out that humans
    are doing in the giant of tuna- the bluefin.

    We need a moratorium now! XG

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    July 27, 2008

    It is nice to see the swordfish come to the aid of the tuna.

  3. #3 pradeep
    July 28, 2008

    What’s with all the typos in this post? 🙂