Sunday, October 25, 2009

Napoleon Fish Facts and How You Can Save Them

Napoleon fish, sometimes also called Napoleon wrasse or humpback wrasses are comical looking fish with a big hump on their forehead and oversize lips. They can grow up to 2 meters. Despite their large size, they are a friendly fish and will often approach divers and swim along side them. Once the diver leaves the napoleon fish's territory, the napoleon fish will patiently wait for the diver to return, then continue to swim with the diver. I once had the amazing experience of swimming alongside a napoleon fish for 20 minutes in the Red Sea! Who knew fish could be so friendly?

Why Napoleon Fish Need Our Help
Napoleon fish are listed as endangered due to overfishing. They are considered a delicacy in parts of Asia, especially Hong Kong and catch a good price for fishermen. Making things even worse is that they are are frequently caught with cyanide which damages coral reefs and kills other fish. By eating a napoleon fish you will also likely be ingesting cyanide. I'm not a doctor, but that can't be good for either you or the napoleon fish. Don't fret, you can help save the napoleon fish with a few simple steps.

Help Save Napoleon Fish
  • Never eat napoleon fish.
  • In a restaurant that serves napoleon fish either boycott the restaurant and tell the manager why you are doing so, or second best ask the manager where it came from and whether it was caught using cyanide. In Hong Kong, you can ask to see their possession permit.
  • Promote and be aware of the Sustainable Seafood Initiative, and make your choices accordingly
  • For further information on how you can help: Humpback Wrasses Awareness Campaign
Thank you for taking action to help save Napoleon Fish!
Photo courtesy of Nemo's Great Uncle.

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