Ode to a Sealice in the Style of R. Burns

(from http://greenplanetwatch.blogspot.com/2012/02/ode-to-sealice-in-style-of-r-burns.html)

B. McPherson

Many people do not understand the serious nature of the numerous parasitic sea lice that attack the wild salmon stocks on the west coast of British Columbia. These creatures attach themselves to the outside of salmon and feed on them.

Before the advent of commercial net pen salmon ‘farms’ sea lice were fairly rare.  They are now found in great numbers near the net pens and prey on the wild babies emerging from their natal streams. Sea lice are increasingly being blamed for the massive mortality of some of the salmon runs.

This ode was penned by a friend of mine – Andy Mathisen – and he has given me permission to reprint it here.

To a Sealice

With apologies to Robbie Burns

Ha! Where are you from, you slimy critter?

That blemish coho’s silver glitter

Perhaps yon pens have spawned your litter

Over floats and nets?

By God! You must feed well

On such tame pets!

You parasitic, sucking blunders
Scourge of all the fish you plunder

How dare you spread to wild wonders

So fine as these!

Go somewhere else to seek your feast

On lesser fishes.

Bugger off! To landlocked pits

Where you may suck and sup and stick

To weaker fish ensconsed in shit

Eat your pills and pellets full

In safe plantations.

But DO NOT set those nets in sounds

In inlets rich where wild abounds

With little care for Nature’s needs

A mess we make

And only be concerned with greed

And what we take.

O would some Power the gift to free us

To see what Nature has to give us

And maybe then the Future see us

With great emotion

As those with caring hearts within us

Saved the oceans

(and all within it!)

Andy Mathisen adapted from Robert Burn’s poem "To a Louse"