This month’s Nature Watch hopes to contribute to a hobby called fish watching. Biodiversity experts often talk about bird watching, butterfly watching, etc., but fish watching is not something that is common. Strange isn’t it that we don’t seem to think of fish as anything more than a nice meal or something of a decoration inside an aquarium.
But there is more to fish than this and even as a meal it is important to know where your fish comes from before you eat it. We care about forests and grasslands, but how much do we know about the water bodies where fish live, eat, and breed? What goes into these water bodies is important for what goes into the fish and through them into us. Or take the aquarium. Frequently, this is the place where we affectionately kill the fish. We keep an aquarium, but are we as concerned about keeping the fish alive as we would our pet dog or cat?
Fish watching as I am introducing to you is not for the serious purpose of conservation, but as a simple pastime; it can be as absorbing a hobby as bird watching and less expensive too. No binoculars or telescopes, just patience and a love for the fish is all the investment needed. Psychologists believe that watching fish (even in an aquarium) is a good way of getting rid of tension and stress. Successful fishermen are skilled fishwatchers.
The author is a consultant for science and environment education. She can be reached at [email protected]