Saturday, February 16, 2008

Wrasse mania

I was suitably impressed when Felix Sasamoto wrassled those fish out of the ocean in January. Two giant tangisons in five days for Felix Saipan Tribune

But no writing, I'd run across an article or two about them being threatened in some places. There's one to avoid, I told myself. It's bound to shake the nuts from the trees. Little did I know.

Surprisingly, much of what I've read has been surprisingly good, particularly the first blog by Mike Tripp. That filled in a lot of gaps.


But now I've just got to hold my nose and dive in. This has gotten way out of hand. Why should people feel free to bug him and his family because of a picture in the newspaper. Sending emails, calling his wife at work?

A little self-righteousness creeps into some of the comments: 'it may be legal but it's a bad idea.' Or, 'he should set a different standard for himself because of where he works.' Huh? Forest rangers can't hunt Bambi? That's a slippery slope once you start down it.

If it's against the law or the regulations it would be different. Maybe they should be stricter. Great. The legislature has been known to amend laws. Petition Fish and Wildlife to amend the regulations, at least for popular dive sites. After what I've learned, I'd sign. As long as you don't mention Mr. Sasamoto. Get MVA on board.

Or we could see what what Sharia law has to say about it. Bad analogy, you'd say. That's a bunch of Islamofascists (fishists?) trying to ram their beliefs down our throats to enforce their religious beliefs outside of the legal system. Hmm.

A wrasse! poor Yorick

But it's such a cute fish. The teddy bear effect, according to Mike. And some people just don't like to be reminded where their food comes from.

A fish-petting zoo would be a Fine Thing. I support anything that would attract tourists. Even call them 'friendly' fish if you like. I don't snicker very loudly, no one will hear. Because that's anthropomorphic nonsense to me. Do they wag their tails?

I don't pretend to understand the fish psyche. Shirley McLaine isn't in my group any more and I can't find a fish psychologist locally, but I'm pretty clear on one thing. Fish don't 'think' like us. Maybe it's the fish equivalent of friendly, or curious, or foreplay, or territorial behaviour. Maybe because of fish-itch and no arms to scratch. Maybe neoprene tastes good. Maybe it's just operant conditioning. B.F. Skinner was right about some things.

I've even seen it suggested that it would be all right if he's poor, but not if he didn't really need the money. Really. I'd like to see that regulation: b) for those making between $10,000 and $20,000, the following species are allowed... Why not. Governments are good at that sort of thing.

How about better enforcement of the current rules? That's not a bad idea, and it came from Mr. Sasamoto.

He's caught his fish, he's caught flak. Now, let him catch a break.

I suppose he's a public figure in a way because of the picture. 'It may be legal, but it's a bad idea.'

The rest is silence

I can't be the only one who smelled something, well, fishy in the stories about that man drowning Thursday. Jumping off of the rocks to chase a big-ass Mafuti? Yah, sure. Why did the 911 call 'reportedly' say he fell in. Fisherman drowns off Coral Ocean Point (Marianas Variety) and Fisherman drowns near COP cliff line (Saipan Tribune).

Were the reporters quoting the witnesses, or quoting the police spokesperson reading what the police report said? Who were the witnesses? Were there witnesses to the witnesses? Does that make the reporting third-hand or third-rate?


lil_hammerhead said...

For the record: I'm not against the taking of any species of animal whose numbers are so great that hunts won't put their continued existence in jeopardy. If turtle populations were abundant.. I'd have no qualm purchasing turtleshell jewelry. The fact is, certain occupations require particular behavior that is beyond what the laws call for. I don't expect to hear about our DPS commissioner stripping at a local exotic dance club, even though this isn't "against the law". I'd find it disconcerting if some middle-manager from PTI had a copper scrap purchasing and export business, even if this isn't against the law. And likewise, I think it is disconcerting to find out that a staff of our Fish and Wildlife Division would be taking a significant animal, legally or illegally, that is known to be rare and is, in fact, on international endangered species lists. Might not be against the law here.. that doesn't make it right.

The point is not to attack Felix. The point is to use him and his statements (I'll hunt as long as there is no law that tells me otherwise), as a catalyst to create a law. It is sad that it comes down to the government having to create a law however.

KAP said...

Didn't even notice the Feb. 5 post on your blog was still percolating until you highlighted it. I usually don't go back more than a few days to check for late comments. Not much new really, they just reinforce my point of view.

Shake those trees.

lil_hammerhead said...


bigsoxfan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bigsoxfan said...

goddamned speel check. sorry. I'm yanking that ugly puppy and fixing the most glaring errors.

bigsoxfan said...

With the guy on cliff/in the water. I'm guessing they found his pants over there, his shoes in another spot, and his body down there. Sorta like the tinman after the assualt from th flying monkeys, then the dps filled in the blanks. Great point though. What does the witness say, and why isn’t he/she quoted?

With the Wrasse, well hell. I wish I could free swim to forty feet and he deserves whatever he can get that deep. The other side of the coin is; if the fish took off and tangled him in the line. He'd be right out of luck. I just can't say anything bad about someone willing to take that chance with legal fishing methods and a legal species. As far as his job goes.

Well, If I hate crap, I won't go and work for the sewage department. Should I have an interest in taming the wild fecal forms, I might. If I have an interest in wildlife, Sure, I'll go and work for the dpw deq or whatever, if for no other reason than to have daily contact with a field of study which I enjoy. Someone with in interest in the field isn't so likely to fall asleep behind the desk and can be excused extracurricular activities in the field. Nice summation on the issue, Kap