In a first for aquaculture an Orange Fingered Yabbie has been succesfully raised from adulthood in a Brisbane suburban creek.
"This is the holy grail of aquaculture," said local bushcarer Anne Jones. "A mature crustacean, big, fat and juicy. It's a triumph for a unmanaged fishery."
Leading aquaculturists across the globe who have tried unsuccessfully to eliminate the growing phase in crustaceans are in awe of their success. Adjunct Professor and bio-ethicist Dr Clive Jones (relation) said the achievement was a tribute to serendipity and a complete lack of planning, infrastructure and methodology.
"This is a mountain that has been just too hard to climb," said Dr Jones. "The only way to get to the top is by realising: 'first there is a mountain'… 'then there is no mountain'… 'then there is'…"
Or not. How does the bushcare group feel about its success?
"I knew it was a keeper as soon as I saw it," said Anne Jones. "In a catch and release sort of way, of course. By avoiding any of the problems of raising the animals, we avoided all the problems associated with the animals having to be raised," she said.
Dr Torresian Crow, an expert in many fields, was asked to comment.
"All I can say is it is not a spider," said Dr Crow. "That is, as far as I can tell. Of course, it may well be. After all it has eight legs. Or ten. Who knows? Or flippers. Or whatever you call those things. It's very hard to say. There are so many changes. No new taxa! That's all I ask. But do they listen? That's rhetorical, by the way. I wouldn't be surprised if primates were moved into Fungi. You never can tell these days, what with all that new fangled molecular phylogeny."
When asked about the commercial implications of the achievements, the local bushcare group was sanguine.
"We don't know what that means but we're happy to let nature take its course," said Anne Jones. "I'm just glad we didn't have to do anything in particular, or anything at all, really. As far as aquaculture is concerned, the aqua is the important bit. Form follows function, you know. Or the other way round. It's better to just be. Or not to be. That is the question."
But what is the answer? Can science mitigate nature? Can artifice fabricate life? Perhaps the answer lies in the truth.
(Pictures below, full motion video available on request, interviews require translation from the Crustacean.)
Dr Jones replies
I am so glad I provided those quotations prior to speaking with you. I am particularly pleased that the reputation of the yabby has been elevated via your achievement to the lofty heights equivalent to the peak of Mt Serendipity. It is widely known that I have ridden on the back of the yabby these past many years, and in so doing have stood on the back of the giant from where I have seen the future. Unfortunately the future was somewhat obscured by the monsoon trough, so active at this time of year. Nevertheless, the orange fingered yabby (Cherax depressus) will now truly be our beacon, by which we will navigate our R&D.