Friday, 13 July 2012

The Sermon on the Mullet

The mullet is one of the commonest fish in British waters. I notice that even the BBC website can't find a nice way to explain that it's not the greatest tasting fish in the world. But that gives me pause for thought.

In the world of captive animals, tasting nice is an evolutionary advantage - albeit one with individual poor outcomes for the possessors of genetic tastiness. Basically, we breed beef cattle, pigs and meat chickens for their tasty nature. And while those animals have lives that are generally fairly brief, their genes are preserved for posterity.

Whereas in wild animals, the opposite will be the case. The tasty fish - cod, haddock - are the ones we chase around the place with nets. While the mullet and other odd-tasting specimens are left in peace. Indeed, the less popular the taste the more they're left alone. Whereas the South-West of England now has seas which are devoid of pilchards.

All I can say is, if Evolution is God's way of sieving out the species, then the Common Fisheries Policy is an odd agent of the Divine Will.  And mine's a large cod with a cone of chips and mushy peas.

1 comment :

  1. Thank-you for dredging up a memory from the silt at the bottom of my brain. I used to lie on a floating gangplank when I was a child and catch grey mullets in the Solent by tickling them like you do for trout. Never ate then though.



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