Round Gobies and the amazingness that is Canadian governance of animals

ermThe last thing I posted was a little essay thing about Round Gobies which I had originally written for my family’s cottage log. When I was done, I posted the new and improved version to my family’s digital cottage log, and there it was commented upon by my brother who really likes to pick things apart.

Okay so I was already a bit annoyed by my lack of decent research, because way back when I said that OFAH were the ones encouraging people to kill Round Gobies. When I tried to go about updating it for a blog post I was unable to find evidence that OFAH had actually ever encouraged such spiteful, useless cruelty. And I was all, “Ooooh, I did so much research, what happened, where’d that post go, did I misunderstand and was it just some commenter?”

ontario goby

Follow the link, page 17. “If you catch a round goby it should be destroyed and not released back into any waters.”

My brother helpfully pointed me to the proof that the Ontario Government DOES actually encourage people to kill Round Gobies if they catch them. So bang goes the theory that I am in any way capable of research, and also of course that the province isn’t bloodthirsty.

Here’s the thing, though: my point is the same. It doesn’t matter if it’s random people with a blog, OFAH, or Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources. When the ultimate fact is that the fish are in the ecosystem now and there’s nothing to be done about it except wait for nature to rebalance itself, egging people on to kill individual fish is just terrible. There’s no other way to describe it. It’s simply unproductive, unhelpful, unnecessary cruelty. It encourages people to shut off their empathy for a small, vulnerable creature who is only stressing the ecosystem because HUMAN INDUSTRY put it there accidentally. They aren’t intentionally harming anyone and deserve to be treated humanely, like all other animals.


I do not understand the mindset of a person who looks at this fish and feels the need to kill it.

It’s like that cliché,  “two wrongs don’t make a right.” Here, everyone from OFAH to the province openly admit that the problem has happened and we can’t fix it. But kill the fish anyway. Because humanity, and stuff. So there’s the initial wrong of, “Whoops, guess we introduced a species.” And then there’s the uber wrong of, “Welp, nothing we can do about it now, so stomp on them all. Because you can, you glorious giant apes.” And all that is achieved is that these fish suffer and die. Go us.

Also, the Lake Erie Watersnake isn’t threatened anymore. Is that 100% because of Gobies? No. But there’s at least a bit of a correlation.

Also also, is it somewhat devastating to realize that your government encourages cruelty without even attempting to justify it? No. This is Canada we’re talking about.


Ways to describe the annual bludgeoning of seals:

  • time-honoured tradition
  • provides meaningful employment
  • rely on this practice for income
  • economic mainstay

Right. Economic mainstay. Nice market we’ve got there for that. Nice subsidizing of it too. A time-honoured tradition that plenty Canadians disagree with. Meaningful employment; sounds like a really fun job. And really lucrative, after that whole Europe thing. I feel like when you’re meeting people for the first time and they ask what you do, you’re totally going to be the hero of the party when they find out. There are literally no other jobs these people can do because we’d rather subsidize this dead industry than create better, safer, kinder jobs for our own people, and we definitely can’t pursue making sure food is affordable everywhere. What a great country we are. #Sealfie.

“An abundance of Atlantic Harp Seals.” Fuck you, Canada, and the horse you rode in on, beat to death, and turned into glue.

Well, actually, no. Just you, Canada. Just us.

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