April 28, 2012

Why are we so hostile to non-natives?

"Giant cannibal shrimp more than a FOOT long invade waters off Gulf Coast."
The black-and-white-striped shrimp can grow 13 inches long and weigh a quarter-pound, compared to eight inches and a bit over an ounce for domestic white, brown and pink shrimp.

Scientists fear the tigers will bring disease and competition for native shrimp. Both, however, can be eaten by humans.

‘They’re supposed to be very good,’ Pam Fuller, a biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey told CNN. ‘But they can get very large, sorta like lobsters.’
They're very good. They're the size of lobsters. Does everything have to be a problem? Can't we just say thanks?

This reminds me of #Asian Carp on an American Rampage# — the Chinese puzzlement at our anguish over Asian carp, their favorite food fish.

33 comments:

chickenlittle said...

..domestic white, brown and pink shrimp.

Served together in the same dish it's called scampi napolitani (Neopolitan shrimp :)

rhhardin said...

A man is native where he walks. (Wm. Empson, local patriotism)

The Cane Toad, an Unnatural History is good

link

Sorun said...

I'm very sympathetic to fighting invasive species, but the Asian carp story would've been helped a lot by including some examples of native species being hurt by the carp.

lemondog said...

Prime oil-nurtured shrimp.

Should foot-long shrimp still be labeled shrimp?

EDH said...

"Why are we so hostile to non-natives?"

In other words, stop acting so shellfish.

ndspinelli said...

I think this is global warming. And I love chickenlittle talkin' Eyetalian!

edutcher said...

We fear what we don't know.

An old, and probably valuable, survival mechanism.

Surfed said...

As someone who has grown up in and around the shrimping business let me say that smaller shrimp are much, much tastier than the larger sizes. The Tiger shrimp in particular are very tough. Nowhere near as tasty and sweet to eat the 35 - 50 count (per lb) Mayport or Frenandina shrimp. This particular invasive species is a bad one. To the smaller shrimp they feed on and the humans that make their livilihood harvesting and fishing them they are a disaster. Only landlocks without clue or reference could ever think otherwise.

jimbino said...

Wow. If we could only encourage them to eat rugrats.

wyo sis said...

Maybe we should train them to eat progressives.

n.n said...

Evolutionary processes are frightening and evolutionary principles are artificially selected. This is not to be confused with "theory of evolution," which is a philosophical supposition.

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quaestor said...

Surfed wrote:
As someone who has grown up in and around the shrimping business let me say that smaller shrimp are much, much tastier than the larger sizes.

As someone who has eaten a lot of tiger shrimp, I must say that on my palate they do taste differently from shrimp native to American waters, but whether the differences amounts to better (let alone "much, much better") is strictly a matter of taste, non gustibus... and all that. As for toughness, being larger tigers are naturally more toothsome for that reason. Whether they are preferable for culinary purposes is also a matter of taste, though to me quantity has a quality all its own.

However, as a matter of good stewardship of our natural resources some effort should be made to ameliorate whatever deleterious effects such an invasive species may work. The Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy and similar nannies have long warned us that all manner of plant and animal life are on the bleeding edge of extinction due to our thoughtless exploitation of Gaea and her retinue of nymphs. I say we put their theories to the test. I say we try to eat the tiger shrimp onto the Endangered Species List.

Surfed said...

@Quaestor - Regardless of how you slice or dice it/them, they're still shit shrimp. Palates and preparation be damned, sir.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Surfed. Why doesn't the article I linked to say that?

Ann Althouse said...

From the Wikipedia article on tiger shrimp:

"Sustainable consumption: In 2010, Greenpeace added Penaeus monodon to its seafood red list – "a list of fish that are commonly sold in supermarkets around the world, and which have a very high risk of being sourced from unsustainable fisheries".[6] The reasons given by Greenpeace were "destruction of vast areas of mangroves in several countries, over-fishing of juvenile shrimp from the wild to supply farms, and significant human rights abuses".[6]"

So they're simultaneously over- and under-abundant.

Canuck said...

It's going to be a bad situation when the carp get into the Great Lakes. And mess with the trout population in states like Montana. Going 100 miles north every year.

They make everything muddier and jump at anything with a motor. But if you like eating carp instead of trout & fish from the Great Lakes - I guess it's a good deal.

Joe said...

I just wonder who the first person was who saw a shrimp and said, "I'll eat that."

Paco Wové said...

The shrimp are guilty of "significant human rights abuses"? Damn, I guess they are some tough customers.

Cedarford said...

There is an ongoing fetish that any non-native species must be "bad!!" for the environment.
All sorts of stuff that came into our environment has been deemed "good!" for so long we forget they are foreign import species:
Honeybees.
Brown trout.
Wild Horsies!!
Tumbleweeds.
Most fruiting trees in cultivation or in the wild.
Green crabs
Coho and striped bass in our lakes.


Some are "mixed blessing" species like grass carp, kudzu, wild boar.

I suspect the tiger shrimp will be a mixed blessing species. Some shrimpers may "curse them" if they net a couple hundred pounds of colossals...but I doubt any of those cursing shrimpers will toss them back overboard.

jimspice said...

You shrimp eaters are going to hell as surely as the fornicators.

Sorun said...

The Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy and similar nannies...

The Nature Conservancy is comparable to the Sierra Club like English bobbies are comparable to the Gestapo.

Ann Althouse said...

Tiger shrimp "meat is savory and tender when cooked in the shell and tastes similar to a lobster tail while being surprisingly less tough. In addition, the texture of Tiger Shrimp is much more cohesive and solid. Thus, the shrimp doesn’t breakdown or fall apart into a soft paste when eaten which is something I always disliked in other shrimp."

http://blog.munchonme.com/?p=1428

Ann Althouse said...

"Texas’s Five Most Delicious Invasive Species"

http://tmdailypost.com/article/wildlife/texas-s-five-most-delicious-invasive-species

Quaestor said...

@Surfed:

Evidently your years growing up in and around the shrimping industry has done nothing for your objectivity. Perhaps you should spend a few more until you can speak of your maturation in the perfect tense.

Quaestor said...

Ann:

Thanks for the recipe at Munchonme. It strongly reminds me of a dish that was a staple of mine as an undergrad. Near my dorm was a Thai restaurant which served an excellent dish called Assam Shrimp, why so named is a puzzle since Assam is a province of India and landlocked. Anyway, Assam Shrimp is prepared with red curry and is served with a bowl of steamed rice on the side -- the idea is to season the rice with the shrimp and its sauce at the table, rather than cook everything together like a gumbo. It was delicious. I ate it for lunch twice or more often every week and never grew tired if it. The prawns were large and meaty; perhaps they were tigers. Ramen Tiger Shrimp sounds like it would be a dead on clone if red curry substituted for the garlic. I'll try it tomorrow.

Quaestor said...

"In 2010, Greenpeace added Penaeus monodon to its seafood red list."

So Greenpeace disapproves, eh? I can hardly think of anything more likely to whet my appetite for tiger shrimp.

Casey said...

Some of the nastier invading species include rabbits (Australia), the zebra mussel, the brown tree snake (nearly wiped out the bird population on Guam), Chinese mitten crab, Emerald Ash Borer, European gypsy moth, and Northern Snakehead.

For all the speculation of economic opportunity, one should also reflect on the effect of native species, as well as the overall ecological balance.

Dante said...

I'm wondering if the example of a foreign species coming in and wiping out the natives is the answer to the question "Why are we so hostile to non-natives?"

If I were a shrimp now to be eaten, I might agree. On the other hand, I suppose if I were someone who was gong to consume or otherwise use the giant shrimp that sucks the life out of the other shrimp, I might think differently. I think there is a good parallel there. Thanks, Ann!

Dante said...

Casey,

And of course, the nastiest of all invading species is man. Not necessarily to the habitat, but to other races of man.

Freder Frederson said...

Umm, because feeding humans is not the only reason shrimp exist.

RonF said...

Asian carp out-compete native fish for food and starve them out (or eat them). They also have an unnerving habit of reacting to power boats by jumping up out of the river to the point that you can get injured. The government is trying to keep them from moving from the Des Plaines River and into the Chicago River and then into Lake Michigan, which would be viewed as a disaster for the fishery there.

OTOH - China's rivers are all pretty much an ecological pollution disaster. Illinois' rivers are much, much cleaner. Enterprising Illinois fishermen are catching the Asian Carp and shipping them to China. They taste a lot better than the Chinese Asian Carp because of our cleaner water and they're making money!

bridgecross said...

I'd agree, but have you ever tasted fresh Gulf shrimp in LA or FL? It has a fresh, crisp snap that's far and away better than all that imported shrimp. And that shrimp which falls apart into a soft paste... it's just not fresh.