Surf’s up, but fish don’t ride waves

I was looking forward to some fishing exploits of Hemmingway proportions this weekend; but the apprehensive chap at the charter company didn’t exactly get me hooked.

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By  Sean Cronin Published  November 12, 2005

|~||~||~|I was looking forward to some fishing exploits of Hemmingway proportions this weekend; but the apprehensive chap at the charter company didn’t exactly get me hooked. “We have to go much further out to catch them now,” he said apologetically, before adding with a nervous laugh: “Sometimes we don’t catch any fish at all.” Apparently those oh-so-fickle Barracuda have got some sort of issue with suction dredging. Every sane person knows that fish love offshore construction; but it appears that Barracuda are the revolutionary free thinkers of the aquatic world. So the stroppy little creatures have all decamped, rather selfishly, to deeper waters out in the Gulf. Which is why it is encouraging to learn that there are plans in place to build an artificial reef of geotextile sand bags to lure them home. “Hey guys, can you come back now? Really sorry about the suction dredging mix up. All the Dutchmen have gone home, honestly, and look at this new furniture we’ve bought you; it’s great.” Construction doesn’t have to involve damage to the environment and it is always good to hear about a job that has genuine environmental bragging rights, even if that doesn’t happen as much as we’d all like. The reef that is being proposed off the Jumeirah coastline sounds like a clever bit of environmentally sound engineering. The idea is that the geo-textile containers that will form the trunk of the reef, and will provide an ideal surface for all sorts of marine life to take root, so that Nemo and chums can live happily ever after. The concept has already proved successful on Australia’s Gold Coast and there doesn’t seem to be a reason why it can’t work in Dubai as well. But I suppose the praise should not be completely unqualified. The reef has a dual purpose, the other one being to produce waves that are big enough to surf. So for every contented barnacle attached to its geo-synthetic container on the seabed, it is worth remembering that splashing somewhere in the waters above, there will probably be a bleached blond, bermuda-wearing, board-bore, for whom everything in this life is ‘totally awesome dude’. Progress always has a price. Sean Cronin Editor||**||

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