schools of fish

Perch - Perca fluviatilis  - image from http://www.sci.muni.czThis is an extension on a blog posting I’ve made over in my aquaculture blog. While writing it I suddenly realised how very little it takes to move people upwards and onwards, downwards, sideways; at times even backwards. It’s not that I didn’t know that, it’s just that I hadn’t quite clicked that it might’ve happened to me before.

Here’s the aquaculture part:
Years ago I kept a young perch in an aquarium with a vision to see how much, and how quickly, it would grow. I borrowed a set of scales from my science teacher at school and was all prepared to make scientific history.

Unfortunately I had underestimated the greed of perch and came home after school to find my perch had decided to take charge of the situation. It had attempted to swallow one of the other inhabitants in the tank – a fish about two-thirds the size of the perch. The perch swum around for the rest of the day with the other unfortunate fish’s tail poking out its mouth. Next morning the perch was also dead.

I kept perch in tanks again, back then, but never explored their growth patterns. What would’ve been useful then is Perch Dissection in Mr. Tippett’s Biology Class. This excellent set of photos clearly shows the inner workings of a fish.

Again, when I was a kid in high school, I took a fish to school and dissected it in front of the class using the image in the TimeLife book ‘Fishes’; to identify the various organs and structures. My father was a hunter, so I also brought in rabbits to dissect. Strangely, I don’t recall my peers bringing any thing to dissect. City kids.

Strange, too, that my teachers never found these initiatives something to encourage. Perhaps this is why I don’t work in science today. It occurs to me that had my seeds of interest fallen on more fertile soils I guess my life would’ve been rather different. I’m guessing a 10 minute conversation with the teacher might’ve moved me down a science path to my great love of the time, keeping fish. I wanted to be a marine biologist/ecologist, but I was told there was no future for that in New Zealand. In those days I respected their wisdom, and working on that reality, left school with minimal qualifications and in the absence of better guidence, started work in a factory.

At least I can blog about aquaculture, but what a loss.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *