A very fishy tale

TRY as I might, it’s an image I simply cannot get out of my head: a guy, in a blind panic, running out of the sea, pursued by ravenous fish snapping at him with very sharp teeth.

I regret not being there with a camera when the incident occurred and became the talk of Benidorm. Cackling hysterically, a local who saw the whole thing told me what had happened.

Just after Covid-19 lockdowns in Spain were eased, folk began noticing an astonishing number of fish coming very close into shore. One geezer decided to make the most of it by wading into the ocean to net himself a fish supper. This, by the way, is illegal in Spain unless you have a regional fishing licence.

The fish were having none of it, and scarpered. Reckoning he needed something tasty to lure them back, he returned with nosh obtained from a nearby takeaway. That more than did the trick. Fish of all sizes came at him in such numbers that he was forced to flee.

After hearing the tale a very fishy tale. I began researching the effect of COVID-19 lockdowns on marine life, and was gratified to learn that the planet’s seeing far cleaner waters and a dramatic bounce- back of fish stocks. And the presence of mammals such as killer whales, dolphins and seals have been recorded in areas where they hadn’t been seen in decades.

A recent Bloomberg report said that signs of marine life recovering include reports of turtles nesting in Brazil during that country’s lockdown– and the same could happen along the Mediterranean coast later this year when breeding season arrives.

While it’s a crying shame that Venice, along with other cities, has seen tourism collapse, its famous canals and lagoon are clearer now than they have been in decades, and people are able to see marine life they never imagined existed.

The grim news is that, since lockdowns have eased, litter louts have resumed dumping hundred of tons of plastic into seas and lakes, and already the negative effects are being seen in areas that have since reopened. This is a sad indication of how little regard most humans have for our beautiful planet.

Faith-heads make the ludicrous claim that some heavenly creator gave Homosapiens dominion over all living things. Ask them why he/she/it stupidly chose the most destructive of all apes to safeguard the earth, and meaningless waffle is the best you’ll ever get.

My thanks to my resident Freethinker artist Shell Fisher for the illustration. More of his work at shell-fisher.wix.com/websites

Thank you for reading this article, “A very fishy tale”. For more columns from Barry Duke, visit the Euro Weekly News website.

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Barry Duke