Group Sodium (Group 11)
Exotic Species and Aquaculture in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Salmon-fishing in the Yemen is a heart-warming romance-comedy movie filled with faith, serenity, dreams, possibilities, honor and love. The storyline is magical and makes a good story but there are some technicalities to consider if you look at it from a scientific point of view. The story, besides revolving on the relationship of Dr. Jones and Harriet, also talks about the possibility of introducing a species (also referred to as exotic or non-native species) of salmon to Yemen, to a place more than 5000 kilometers away from its original habitat (in the case of the movie, Britain). The movie was scientific in the sense that it did mention (in the character of Dr. Jones) the major considerations such as water acidity, alkalinity, oxygen content, hardness and also the soil quality (when he approved of it being suitable for salmon to lay they eggs on). But there are other important things to consider.
Sheikh Muhammed’s hopes for providing food and sources of income to his countrymen are indeed noble. He represents the advantages and potentials of Aquaculture in terms of economic benefits, decrease in foreign dependence, job availability, food security and even decreased pressure on wild fisheries (instead of depleting natural resources due to excessive fishing, fish are in a sense grown like vegetables in one’s backyard). But such prospects come with risks.
There was a very important aspect that was left untouched: the effects of the introduced species to the new environment. There have been cases that the introduction of species, may it be intentional or unintentional, had adverse effects to its new environment. The innocent release of aquarium plants and animals (such as algae Caulerpa, purple loosestrife and red lionfish, Pterois volitans) by humans have interfered in the water flow of lakes, rivers, estuaries, and streams. It has also poses risks to native species due through predation or competition (marinebio.org). The northern snakehead fish and Asian swamp eel were introduced as a potential source of food, but have been found to be a voracious predator and are now being controlled by the US government to protect native species (galvbayinvasives.org). The spread of whirling disease is hastened throughout the US due to recreational anglers placing their catch in their favorite fishing holes (protectyourwaters.com). Such instances prove that it is not enough to consider the species you want to grow, but more important is that one take into account the interactions of several other organisms in that environment. There exists a delicate balance in nature such that a simple alteration may pose drastic changes.
Though Dr. Jones did not consider the ecology the Yemen waters, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen still creates a challenge for those in the sciences to be innovative, especially due to the demand for food and water sources. For now, audiences should see that indeed, there is a lot of faith needed for feats like bringing salmon fishing in the Yemen because it will take an immense amount of research and study to make sure that we do get the results we hoped for.
 Article: Alien Species. Website: marinebio.org/oceans/alien-species.asp
 Website: galvbayinvasives.org/Guide/Species/MonopterusAlbus
 Article: Harmful Aquatic Hitchhikers: Others: Whirling Disease. Website: protectyourwaters.com/hitchhikers/others_whirling_disease.php