Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Endangered Soreq Smelt

California has the Delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) which is a small sardine infesting the freshwater-saltwater mixing zone of the Sacramento river estuary. California is suffering from very severe water scarcity but environmentalists have declared the smelt an endangered species (although it is indistinguishable from billions of other sardines) and forced the water authorities to spill good fresh water into the sea to support the ecosystem of this uneatable pest.

Lately I am hearing that the Soreq river carries less water to the Mediterranean (the drought, remember?) and there is a pressing need to restore the "delta". Our marine biologists are feverishly searching for the Israeli equivalent of the California smelt, so we too can be shamed to spill precious, expensive drinking water to the sea. Hereby I am baptizing this yet undiscovered but essential sardine - "the Soreq smelt". It is possible that by this time it is extinguished, and we need to import the California Delta smelt and acclimatize it, or to resuscitate it recombining ordinary sardine genes.

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