Sad for speared dhu
Your front-page photo last week shows a fisherman holding — with an expression that can only be described as overwhelming joy — a big, dead fish.
But if you look a little deeper, our enthusiast isn’t just holding a dead fish.
He’s holding a magnificent 1.5-2m, 23.5kg dhufish.
Glaucosoma hebraicum is found nowhere else in the world, with populations between Shark Bay and Esperance and their greatest densities between Kalbarri and Augusta.
This particular fish, a male judging by the extension of the leading dorsal spine, could well be 30-40 years old. The oldest dhufish on record was 41.
Obviously, this longevity confers quite outstanding qualities on this particular individual. To have survived so long in such a hostile environment, made no less hostile by our local fishing enthusiast, this dhufish must have a genome which would have been indispensable to future generations of dhufish.
It would also appear that the older the dhufish, the greater their reproductive potential, and bigger individuals achieve much greater reproductive success, which for future generations of fishing enthusiasts, and the planet of course, places some responsibility and restraint on the fisherman and his enthusiasm. The sight of the
Times acknowledging, for all to witness, that this “achievement” is more important than the future of the dhufish fishing industry, and indeed, the future of the dhufish itself, should go down like a lead sinker.
Knowing that this magnificent dhufish is to be sent to an Eastern States taxidermist to be stuffed because it’s too big and old to be eaten suggests it was caught for fun. How very sad.
Dave Seegar, Margaret River