Tuesday, March 12, 2013

China's Porkapocolypse!

While CITES is on every shark blog out there (and some fine reportage too) we thought we would turn our attention to one of the least covered stories this week and yes, we're talking about  - Porkapocolypse!

A fun fact to know and tell, I spent a few years in China running 21 day tours for overweight Americans. Well actually they were regular sized but the local Chinese thought they were simply huge.The Americans used to stop traffic in Beijing when they came off our tour buses...but I digress.

China back then was a god awful place where you had to shower twice to get coal dust out of your hair, kind of a modern post industrial Dickensian vibe. That was 1998.

Seems not a lot has changed as this week over 5000 dead pigs were found in the rivers and tributary systems of the Shanghai River - a river that feeds the city of Shanghai population of 23 million people. Ya'll want to watch what they are putting into your Green Coffee Latte at Starbucks these days. Another fun fact to know and tell, there are only three Starbucks in all of Shanghai proper.

Still, ewwwww.

China let's nothing go to waste, so these pigs died of, "something horrible." Seriously, if local Chinese who happen to love pork (and who doesn't?) could have found a way to carve up 5000+ pigs and drop them into the food chain they would have, about the only thing that can account for these animals in rivers is rampant and unchecked disease and flood.

Since there was no flood, we got ourselves a disease people - and a big one.

One last fun fact to know and tell, the major killer of pigs worldwide is swine flu or H5N1.

Anyway the number of pigs in the river keeps getting larger and larger. Government folks in China are saying the number is over 5000 and in China if the news is good they bump it up by a factor of ten, if the news is bad a factor of 20 is applied and the issue is downgraded.

So expect the numbers to rise and for my friends in Shanghai right now, if you need some bottled water from outside the country we can send it, it looks like you'll need it and stay out of the Starbucks at least until the Porkapocolypse has subsided.

Update: It's a virus, Porcine circovirus, as reported by Chinese health authorities and not H5N1.


Patric Douglas
Shark Diver
Currently enjoying semi-retirement

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at sharkcrew@gmail.com.


OfficetoOcean said...

Cheap chum! Put the call in, there's a bargain to be had here ;)

Shark Diver said...

Yup covered in H5N1, no thanks, got "Bass Finger" one year from chum and that's enough for me.

In case you are asking that's getting stuck with a fish spine filled with bacteria.

Still, I thoroughly enjoyed flipping people off on the highway for the next week - you have to see the upside in these things.

OfficetoOcean said...

Ha! What did it do to your finger? I bet that was fun for you :D