RE: NANFA-- Genetically engineered fish in MA?

Bruce Stallsmith (
Sun, 19 May 2002 13:17:49 -0400

First, I would like to congratulate Jay on coming up with a relatively
obscure King Crimson lyric to add to his sig.

Secondly, my problem with this particular case of genetic engineering is
that these "Atlantic salmon" with the attributes described below pose a
major threat to what's left of native Atlantic salmon in North America. The
transgenic fish grow faster and can reproduce at a smaller size. Other
things being equal, this means that they will be more successful in
reproduction, leave more descendants, and thus swamp the gene pool with
their non-necessarily well-adapted genes for life at sea and in rivers. This
last point is important; there's evidence that each individual river-run of
salmon is micro-adapted in its genetic composition for maximal survival in a
given river, and making it out to sea and back. A sudden infusion of
essentially random genes in a given river population (stock) will
destabilize this genetic adaptation and probably lead to a stock collapse.
Maybe even worse, these genetically altered fish could be wildly successful
and become a new kind of weed. What would this mean?--who knows? That's the

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL, US of A

>No mermaids here-- the so-called Frankenfish is real. I wasn't kidding
>about the link I shared a few days ago. To learn about the issue Bruce
>asked about, read this article:
>Here are a few paragraphs:
>It looks like a North Atlantic salmon. But it grows seven times faster, and
>it's much more attractive to the opposite sex than a normal salmon.
>It's a transgenic fish, the first genetically engineered animal under
>for the U.S. food supply. Embedded in every cell of its body are genes from
>the Chinook salmon and the ocean pout fish that make it grow more quickly.
>The altered salmon is likely to become the next focus in the battle over
>bioengineered food, after controversies over the desirability of
>altered bovine growth hormones in cows and modified corn, soybeans and
>canola in cereals and tortilla chips.
>In the next year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will consider a
>petition by Aqua Bounty Farms of Waltham, Mass., to farm and market the
>altered salmon.
>Jay DeLong
>Olympia, WA
>I talk to the wind
>My words are all carried away
>I talk to the wind
>The wind does not hear
>The wind cannot hear.
/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association"
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ For a digest version, send the command to
/ instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,