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sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41915
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 05 12:32 pm    Post subject: Lampreys  Reply with quote    

From today's Independent:
Lampreys, the food of kings, are close to extinction

By Paul Kelbie, Scotland Correspondent

04 May 2005

Once a delicacy which graced the tables of nobility, the fish reputedly responsible for the death of two gluttonous monarchs is on the verge of extinction.

Lampreys, which resemble an eel with a sucker-like mouth, have roamed Scotland's rivers for millions of years. But river pollution and over-fishing have cut their numbers to such an extent that Scottish Natural Heritage fear they have been wiped out in many of their natural habitats.

The organisation is so worried about the decline of the ancient species that they have begun a major survey to try to assess how many still exist.

An important source of food at least since Roman times, the lamprey was considered a gourmet dish during the Middle Ages. Unlike other fish, it has no scales, jaws, gill covers or bony skeleton. Both King Henry I and King John of England are reputed to have been inordinately fond of it, but unfortunately died as a result of over-indulging.

Fossil evidence has shown that brook, river and sea lampreys, which belong to the family Petromyzonidae - meaning stone-sucker - date from before dinosaurs. The lamprey is a parasite, attacking fish and other aquatic species by latching on to them with powerful suckers and using a rasping tongue and sharp teeth to open wounds on the victim's skin. Then it feeds on blood and other body tissue.

Their decline has been so dramatic in areas of Europe it is feared they have been wiped out in many traditional breeding grounds. SNH fear that is happening in Scotland. Dr Colin Bean, its freshwater advisory officer, said: "Their presence is an indication of the health of the river: they rely on clean, undisturbed river systems and they affect the complex food web by feeding on a variety of species."

What are the chances of getting the public to worry about something as un-cuddly as a lamprey I wonder?

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44159
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 05 12:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Lampreys Reply with quote    

sean wrote:
What are the chances of getting the public to worry about something as un-cuddly as a lamprey I wonder?


About 0 I'd say.

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 05 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I caught a fish once that had one attached to it's eye, I'm afraid that they officially repulse me.

I'm assuming it's overfishing of their food which is causing problems. not actual targetting of the lampreys?

A. Lamprey
Guest





PostPosted: Wed May 04, 05 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Well thanks for the support guys. I think it's pollution of the waterways that's the problem.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44159
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 05 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Glad to hear from you A Lamprey, what do you think we could do to help you out? And what did you think of Jonnyboy's nasty comment?

A. Lamprey
Guest





PostPosted: Wed May 04, 05 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Frankly I'm not too keen on him, but speciesist remarks aren't going to further the debate are they?

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 05 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

A. Lamprey wrote:
Well thanks for the support guys. I think it's pollution of the waterways that's the problem.


Anyone else thinking '*^% me, a talking lamprey?'

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 05 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I was wondering just how many constitutes a surfeit.

A. Lamprey
Guest





PostPosted: Wed May 04, 05 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Judith wrote:
I was wondering just how many constitutes a surfeit.


From my point of view, one...

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44159
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 05 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

A. Lamprey wrote:
Frankly I'm not too keen on him


I'd have to agree with you

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44159
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 05 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

By the way are you a Mr, Ms or Mrs Lamprey?

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 05 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jonnyboy wrote:
Anyone else thinking '*^% me, a talking lamprey?'


Actually, I'm thinking '*^% me, a typing lamprey'. He must go through keyboards at a fair rate of knots, unless he uses his tail, which I'd have thought would be a bit slippery.

It is difficult to feel a lot of sympathy for something so plug ugly, which is a pity as it surely has its place in the world.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44159
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 05 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bugs wrote:
It is difficult to feel a lot of sympathy for something so plug ugly


Can't believe you just said that, poor A Lamprey

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 05 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have to say that I am shocked at the churlish welcome this new member is receiving. Surely Downsizer has room for multiskilled bloodsuckers among its ranks, however lacking in endoskeleton they might be.

Behemoth



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 19023
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 05 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bugs wrote:
[It is difficult to feel a lot of sympathy for something so plug ugly, which is a pity as it surely has its place in the world.


Have you been speaking to my wife about me?

From the gourmet position, now is the time to eat them before they disappear.

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