back to article Lobsters given seats on coronavirus rescue flights... although they're probably not in a rush for a boiling bath

Australia will arrange rescue flights for lobsters, shellfish, and other seafood, to ease the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy. No, it's not that kind of rescue: they're going to be eaten, hopefully. Seafood is a export industry Down Under, worth over a billion dollars in local currency as lobster and trout …

  1. Denarius Silver badge
    Joke

    crayfish, not lobsters

    We only have lobsters in freshwater. Biggest freshwater in world lurks in northern Tasmanian creeks. Feeds on feral greenies taking a rare bath.

    Odd that crays were once a poor mans snack. Now luxury that, looxury

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: crayfish, not lobsters

      Ah, no: it's lobsters. And our man on the ground there says so. See here for info.

      C.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: crayfish, not lobsters

        I am glad to see that rigorous fact chacking is being maintained in these difficult times.

  2. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Go

    We need a proper name for this enterprise to capture the public imagination!

    Obviously, we need the proper branding to change the public perception of this from some grubby industry handout for a bunch of politically well-connected businessmen to something more noble and/or patriotic:

    A) The "Boilin' Airlift"?

    B) The "Shellfish Shuttle"

    C) "Mollusks for Masks"

    1. Ken Shabby Bronze badge
      Linux

      Re: We need a proper name for this enterprise to capture the public imagination!

      Make sure it is something catchy!

  3. The Kraken

    Haha that's not a lobster.. THIS is a lobster !

    https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/larry-the-red-big-lobster

    They can be big down here :)

    1. Kane Silver badge

      Re: Haha that's not a lobster.. THIS is a lobster !

      "They can be big down here :)"

      Man, can you imagine the size of the steaks you would need for a surf 'n' turf?

    2. Patched Out

      Re: Haha that's not a lobster.. THIS is a lobster !

      Paw. It doesn't even have claws! Now THIS is a proper, Maine Lobster:

      https://www.wmtw.com/article/giant-lobster-claws-way-to-top-of-maine-restaurant/20150071

  4. Muscleguy Silver badge

    The Chinese earlier stopped importing seafood. Stuff.co.nz reported this over a week ago in noting that Chatham Air which flies to and from the Chatham Islands way out East of Christchurch since they couldn’t export their catches of crayfish, kina (sea urchins), paua (abalone) or sundry other delicious comestibles which as you note command high prices in China, Hong Kong, Japan etc.

    That China is now accepting such imports as they get back towards normal is a good news story. NZ is ramping up greenshell mussel culture and we will soon have them domesticated with selective breeding for desirable traits and the removal of undesirable ones. They cracked getting them to spawn in captivity, the trick is to vibrate the tank at a specific frequency which is suspected to mimic the effects of waves on the rocks where they live in the wild during spring equinoctical storms. Bigger waves sweep their young further away and disperses them making them harder to eat en mass.

    A greenshell mussel can grow up to 6 inches across. European mussels look like dwarfs in comparison. The first time I had them on returning as an adult from NZ I was disappointed by these tiny mussels. I’m used to much bigger ones. The local Chinese supermarket has freezer packs of them in the half shell so I need not feel deprived. They aren’t as good as freshly picked off the rocks then thrown on a piece of iron plate found and put on driftwood fire on the beach. Next best is live from the supermarket in NZ. They have these tall columnar perspex tanks in the supermarkets with a spraybar on top filled with live mussels for sale by the kilo. YUM, YUM, YUM.

    Note mussel culture is very green, they are not fed except by the waters they grown in and increasingly they practice vertical farming, encouraging water lettuce and other edible algae to grow amongst the mussels and harvesting the kina (urchins) which congregate underneath attracted by the mussel wastes. All can be exported, fresh or processed.

    Compared to salmon farming it’s extremely virtuous.

    1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
      Happy

      Shipping food by air

      Note mussel culture is very green, they are not fed except by the waters they grown in and increasingly they practice vertical farming, encouraging water lettuce and other edible algae to grow amongst the mussels and harvesting the kina (urchins) which congregate underneath attracted by the mussel wastes. All can be exported, fresh or processed.

      It's quite easy to focus on the green bit and ignore the rest of the supply chain. But if it ends up as fresh product flown in bulk 4000 miles to China, each plane trip pumping 110 tons of carbon dioxide* into the upper atmosphere where it can do the most harm, then that more than negates anything done on the ground.

      Sea freight of processed products are a bit better, the same journey will pump out about a fifth of the carbon dioxide per ton-mile, and into the lower atmosphere where it is less damaging. It's still not environmentally good to ship food thousands of miles, just not very, very bad.

      *https://blueskymodel.org/air-mile

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