There are so many people coming to Hermanus. The cars just keep whizzing past the Green House. It’s quite scary for a little eco-cat like me and makes me quite dizzy.
My humans tell me the people come on holiday in summer to swim in the sea and to catch fish. My humans also tell me that there are not many fish left in the sea for them to catch. I wondered why.
My Shirley human was happy to tell me. “Well, Stripes,” she said, “When humans first came to the Whale Coast there were lots of good fish in the sea. The ocean is so big and there were so many fish they thought they could just catch and catch and the fish would never run out. Soon people started to go out to sea in boats, and the boats got bigger and faster, and then they started using huge nets. They caught so many fish that the fish could no longer breed fast enough to replace all the fish they took out of the sea.”
“And what about the penguins and the seals and dolphins that also have to eat fish?”
“You are right, Stripes, people are taking so many fish from the sea that penguins have to swim a long way to find their food and can’t feed their babies properly. That is one of the reasons African Penguins are so endangered.”
‘What about farming the fish?” I asked, feeling really smart.
“Yes, you are quite right Stripes. Humans are farming fish which does help. But often the fish in the farms are fed with fish that are caught in the sea”, Shirley said.
This did not make much sense, even to a smart cat.
“Do you know what could really help to feed the fish?” Shirley asked. I waited for the answer with big eyes, because I certainly didn’t know.
“Flies”, she said.
“Yes, flies are really our best friends because they help to clean up the planet. They lay their eggs in the rotting stuff and the eggs very quickly hatch out into larvae called maggots that look like little worms. These maggots quickly eat up all the nasty dirty stuff.”
“Then what happens to the maggots?” I asked.
“Then they turn into lots more flies,” Shirley replied.
“Oh no, not more flies!” I was really worried.
“Yes, we could farm the flies in big cages. We can grow lots of maggots by feeding them on waste and leftovers. Then we can feed the maggots to the fish in the fish farms. Fish just love to eat them.” She said with a smile. “That way we can turn throw-away food into fish food”.
“Ha! That’s a fishy story, if you ask me.”
Why are penguins struggling to find food?
Do you think it’s a good idea to farm fish?
What should the farmer feed the fish? Why?
This story can be printed as a an A5 pamphlet by downloading the pdf file below, printing it back to back on A4 paper (landscape orientation) and then folding in half. -> A Fishy Story A5