Monday 19 August 2019

Sinead Ryan: 'Hooked on fish? Could be the water'

Researchers at the University of Suffolk found cocaine traces in 100pc of shrimp tested. Ketamine was also found in a widespread number of shellfish. Stock Image
Researchers at the University of Suffolk found cocaine traces in 100pc of shrimp tested. Ketamine was also found in a widespread number of shellfish. Stock Image
Sinead Ryan

Sinead Ryan

The drugs crisis has reached alarming new levels. Even those of us who don't smoke, inhale, inject or snort can be affected by others' bad decisions. But I'm not sure many would have considered the danger posed by a portion of scampi.

Researchers at the University of Suffolk found cocaine traces in 100pc of shrimp tested during a micro-pollutants sampling across 15 locations on the east coast of England.

Ketamine was also found in a widespread number of shellfish. The scientists said they were "surprised" by the results and the effect even low concentrations might have on wildlife. Eh, what? Never mind wildlife, what about the rest of us?

Can you get high from ordering cod and chips in the pub? Is your tandoori prawn takeaway likely to deliver more than you bargained for?

Well, it turns out a bad trip might be the least of the shrimp's problems. A separate study has found intersex fish are now common in freshwater fishing areas. Up to a fifth of males are displaying female traits including egg production and a reduced sperm count. The reason? Well it's all the chemicals found in the contraceptive pill and cosmetics which are flushed down the loo interfering with natural biology. What a load of old pollock!

The pill, a boon to the reproductive rights of women since the 1960s, is increasingly affecting male fish populations, although it's thought more of them are now capable of multi-tasking and asking for directions.

I'm not codding.

Boom time as the finest fertilisers really go to pot

Speaking of the unintended consequences of drugs, American insecticide company Scotts (makers of Miracle-Gro, which does a superb job on my tomatoes) has had a sales reversal of late; slumps due to agricultural recession have rebounded after an investment by the company of $135m (€121m) on fertilisers and hydroponics to... pot growers.

Growing marijuana is possibly a tad more controversial than tomatoes, and won't look as good in your hanging baskets, but chief executive Jim Hagedorn claims it's a winner for the company. Thirty-three States now allow medical marijuana and 10 permit growing it for recreational use. But even the black market for cannabis fertiliser has seen a reversal in the company's fortunes which they say they are "not lamenting".

It's probably hard to envisage the marketing campaign, but it doesn't look like they're in need of one.

Oceanworld can take pride in gay penguins

OF course sexual preference doesn't just apply to fish. But what are we to make of the revelation that more than half the penguins at Dingle Oceanworld are gay?

Eight of the 14 Gentoo penguins are in same-sex relationships, two lesbian pairs and two homosexual couples according to staff, a figure which has doubled since the marriage equality referendum was passed.

In fairness, this is almost exactly what the Iona Institute warned us about. Or something.

Many animals display homosexual tendencies but only two species maintain same-sex preferences for life: humans and, er, sheep. Bet ewe didn't know that.

Thankfully the Kerry penguins are not at risk of dying out.

The sensible females will waddle over to the males and do the necessary, but prefer to rear the chick with its other mother.

Kerry's Oceanworld claims its four pairs of gay penguins compares favourably to New York City zoo's. Well, that's the Kingdom for you.

Irish Independent

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