Monday, March 30, 2009

58 pound Napoleon Wrasse

napoleon wrasseLast Monday a surfer visiting the Marianas on vacation speared and killed an Endangered 58 pound Napoleon Wrasse off the coast of Tinian. The picture above was taken as he was trying to sell it to one of the Chinese restaurant/brothels in Garapan for $50 (the smaller fish is also a Napoleon Wrasse).


About a year ago there was a huge controversy in Saipan when a local fisherman speared two Napoleon Wrasses. Mike Tripp discussed those catches on his blog when it happened.

Any thoughts?  Should we take up a collection so that wealthy tourists don't feel the need to fund their trips by killing and trafficking endangered species?


13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great... here we go again....

g00$e said...

Tripp's comments are valid here as well- it's not against the law to take Napoleans but it's still wrong.

Interesting that folks will work themselves into an absolute lather protecting the scourge of mangy dogs that plagues the island but but remain apparently unconcerned over the taking of this endangered (my word) fish.

Sort of related- I saw a humongous Crown of Thorns starfish, along with a couple semi hummongous ones off Pau Pau last Sunday.

Anonymous said...

I think it disturbs me more that this guy is just a visitor and is trying to make money from it instead of feasting on it.

Rick MacPherson said...

big fish matter on healthy, vibrant coral reefs... culling the big mama's from the reef is not an investment in sustainability... it's a simple ecological numbers game

a single 61-cm female snapper, for example, produces the same number of eggs as 212 41-cm female snappers...

in other words, this:

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produces as many eggs as these (combined):

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GuSpn said...

This is too much. Tourists come to our island only to kill the fish in our area so other tourists cannot enjoy them. Talk about killing the tourist trade. I would have loved to photograph this Wrasse, while still alive, as I am sure many other tourists would have like to have done. What dive shop/boat company took this guy out? they need a stern lecture. This ranks right up there with the other wrasse killings as well as the eel at Obyan.

jake rhymes with cake said...

thoughts? ... DELICIOUS!

mehearemsay said...

Dumb dumb dumb dumb! Is he the same great white spearfisher hunter that speared the 12foot tiger shark? take a look at the video very carefully....

scubatripp said...

I've heard this guy was a "professional" spear fisherman (whatever that means) and that one of the reasons he came here is because there are no laws against the catch of Napoleon’s, unlike many other places in the pacific including Palau.

I’ve also heard that the fish sold for the typical rate of $2 per pound or less. This and the fact that it was not a local person claiming the need to sustain their family makes it very a very hard pill to swallow. What makes it even more bitter is that someone here in the CNMI arranged for the tour and took this person out on their boat effectively promoting the event and having a direct hand in killing this fish and any others he may have been able to bring in.

So it seems that a law is in fact needed here in the CNMI to protect this species since common sense and the knowledge that killing them is not good for our environment or our tourism industry is just not enough of an incentive to ensure it does not happen.

The people of Tinian, especially the dive operators and fisherman, should be outraged and hold the people who assisted in this accountable.

Anonymous said...

So the fish is dead. A bit late to do anything about it unless you can walk on the water instead of swim through it.

The story indicates that at least the beast went to a restaurant which, we hope, fed a good number of people with it.

Not the best possible ending, but many a friendly large cow, or carrot, ends up the same way.

Anonymous said...

Those carrots are not very friendly they just sit there like a vegetable.

mehearemsay said...

50 years ago these guys were sort of local heros. Nowadays.... times have changed and they should to. "Take only photos and leave only bubbles."

Brad said...

Angelo, I've heard people talking about two different groups that were here spear fishing...I think. Some locals and some people I heard were somehow affiliated with ESPN. Is that right? ESPN?

This is stupid...nothing manly about killing these gentle giants.

Beefy Vagina said...

This post seriously brought tears to my eyes...As a previous individual mentioned, the napoleon wrasse are important for the coral reefs, not to mention being incredibly beautiful, gentle creatures that have done nothing to merit such a barbaric end...

I agree with the "take only photos, leave only bubbles" motto.