Fish Out of Water
When I worked in the fish market in Seattle I used to hate cleaning tilapia. Next to the stately salmon, tilapia were a lowly fish -- ugly, smelly things with tough spines that, if they pricked you, caused a nasty infection. But as repugnant as they may be, Nile tilapia are ascendant, thanks to the fact that they are good to eat and easily farmed, being hearty, highly adaptable, freshwater herbivores. (Fear not, fish lovers, when the last tuna has been caught and consumed, there will still be pen-raised tilapia to make fish and chips out of.) This post from Shifting Baselines looks at tilapia's burgeoning "success" in niches ranging from the fashion industry (behold the 'fishkini') to NASA (think tilapia as fresh protein for astronauts) and wonders at it the weirdness of it all. What does it mean for a species to be successful if that success implies a near-total separation from wild, earthly origins? The tilapia are no doubt untroubled by such questions, but it does pretty well get to the heart of our own predicament, no?