And now an epic battle of man beast vs beast! In the right corner with a tooth filled jaw of bone crushing power followed by the infamous death roll, the aligator! And in the left corner, breathing over 80% of his air above the surface of the water and capable of producing shocks up to 500 volts and 1 amp, the electric eel!
Only 1 amp you say? That’s only a small percentage of what it takes to kill you. For instance, OSHA describes the effect of electric shock from 6mA to 16mA (that’s milliamps 1/1000th of an amp) as “Painful shock, begin to lose muscular control. Commonly referred to as the freezing current or “let-go” range. 17mA – 99mA (less than 10% of what an electric eel can produce) is described as “Extreme pain, respiratory arrest, severe muscular contractions. Individual cannot let go. Death is possible.” Anything higher and you’re probably, or certainly, dead.
To cheer you up, here is a video of an electric eel powering a christmas tree! Yes, in Japan.
The FDA has recently begun evaluating the use of genetically modified salmon as a drug. These franken-salmon share genes splices with two other species, a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon, a cold water gene from the eel-like ocean pout. Combined these genes cause the fish to produce growth hormone in cold weather, when they otherwise wouldn’t. These modified salmon can grow to market size in about 1/3 the time as commercially farmed salmon.
When they say “drug” I’m assuming they’re actually farming fish oil and omega-3s for vitamins and supplements. Still, this would mark the history books as the first transgenic animal available for human consumption in the United States. The FDA is only investigating the overal safety in comparison to the consumption of ordinary salmon, no environmental or economical studies were done. If the GM salmon proves to be safe for consumption how long until it moves from the bathroom cabinet to the dinner table?
But ocean stocks of salmon, like those of many other fish, are dwindling, so we have turned to aquaculture to provide us with tasty fish. Unfortunately, this may exacerbate rather than solve the problem. Farmed fish eat fish oil or fish meal, which come only from wild fish, and it takes three pounds of wild fish meal to generate one pound of salmon. Thus, aquaculture further depletes the oceans rather than sparing them.
To escape this vicious cycle, Aqua Bounty Technologies, based in Massachusetts, has generated transgenic AquAdvantage salmon that grow to market size twice as fast as regular salmon while requiring less feed. The FDA is considering whether to approve this salmon based on safety grounds alone, and that’s simply too narrow, according to a Policy Forum published in Science.
The company that created the fish has minimized this last concern by noting that the fish are grown inland in facilities with containment mechanisms. Even if they get loose, they are sterile and cannot breed with wild stocks
Would you eat genetically modified salmon? Would you eat other genetically modified products (fruits, vegetables, etc)? How do you feel about genetically modified products?
My good friend Phil alerted me to this fantastic swordfish tattoo by artist Matt Adamson. It’s difficult to understand the placement of the tattoo from the photos below but it looks to me like the tops of the shoulders, as if the swordfish has gone through the neck. Matt is [...]
This exotic fish may be native to southeast asia, but would you believe there’s one place in the United States where you can catch one right along side a largemouth bass. While they’re most commonly found here in aquariums many misinformed owners don’t realize they can grow up to 40″ [...]
The fishing season is off to a fantastic start this year! Last weekend marked the opening of trout season here in Ontario and though I was only able to get out yesterday, my friends and I still managed to have a fantastic day on the river. We woke up early [...]
We haven’t done a caption contest in a while, mostly because it takes a very special picture or video to inspire us. Today we have a video so wild we couldn’t even describe it! Hopefully you’ll have better luck though. The best description of this video left in the comments [...]
Fishing Camp is a fishing trivia board game from Education Outdoors aimed to please the whole family. Supporting up to eight players as young as four years old, the game separates trivia questions into four levels. Level one questions are simple, like identifying fish species or fishing tackle. The difficulty [...]
My XTRATUF II boots have been the footwear of choice for winter fishing this year and they’ve been fantastic on every outing. I’m sad that they’ll be put away in the next few weeks as summer approaches, but I’m very happy knowing they’re ready and waiting for next winter. When [...]
Earth Day 2013 is here! When is Earth Day? Earth Day is honored around the world on April 22, although larger events such as festivals and rallies are often organized for the weekends before or after April 22. Many communities also observe Earth Week or Earth Month, organizing a series [...]