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Nature Life: Red Snapper And Nature

By Obiabin Onukwugha

Red snapper is a deep rosy, red colour fish with a dark fringe around the dorsal and tail fins. Red snapper has pink meat with tones of yellow when raw.

When cooked, it turns lighter with sweet, mild but unique flavour. It is said to be the most sought-after offshore fish, representing an important recreational and commercial fishery.

Red snapper can live a long life. It is said that specimens have been estimated to reach 57 years old in the Gulf and 51 years in the South Atlantic. But to reach this ripe age, however, snappers must avoid larger carnivorous fish, as well as marine mammals and turtles, which eat their young ones for nourishment.

Spawning in Red Snappers occur from June through September when adults are about 2 years old. Juveniles are widely distributed over muddy or sandy bottom and are caught in great numbers during shrimping operations.

Scientists say growth in red snapper is fairly fast, reaching 8 inches in the first year and gaining 3-4 inches each year thereafter. Adult red snapper average 2-4 pounds but can reach over 50 pounds.

They feed on crab, squid, shrimp and small fish which they find near artificial reefs, oil rigs and other underwater structures.

Red snapper has numerous health benefits and economic value. According to the NOAA fisheries database, commercial landings of red snapper were about 7.7 million pounds in 2020, and were worth about 31.5 million dollars.

Red snapper is said to aid in weight control and lowers heart disease risk, and also supports thyroid health due to high selenium content, thereby contributing to healthy living.

Biologists say it can increase white blood cells in the body due to its high selenium content and can prevent heart disease due to high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

Red snapper contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, Selenium, Magnesium, Vitamins D and E.

It is low in sodium and saturated fat. It is a good source of protein. It aids in weight control and lowers heart disease risk, and it also: can prevent osteoporosis and strengthen bone mineral density due to high potassium levels; can decrease the risk for coronary heart disease atherosclerosis and strokes and bring blood pressure down due to high levels of omega-3 fatty acids; Can help in weight management because of protein density and high potassium levels; can help to lower the risk of megaloblastic anemia due to high selenium levels; can improve cognitive function and boost nervous system health due to high levels of Vitamin A, selenium, Omega-3 fatty acids and potassium.

Why Red Snapper and Joe the Little Boy Could Not Be Friends For Long

It was said that one fine morning, a little boy went to the river with his parents near a stream. The little boy brought a net. He wanted to catch a fish.

After a few hours in the stream, the little boy went back to his parents.

“Did you catch any fish?” asked his father.

“Yes. But I let it go,” replied the little boy.

“Why did you let it go?” asked his father.

“Because it bit my finger,” said the little boy.

“Which finger did it bite?” asked his mother.

“It bit my little finger on the right,” said the little boy.

The following day, the little boy went to fish again, and before long, the little fish hopped by the stream and said “hey, little boy, how are you”? But the little boy refused to reply as he continued his fishing.

After several attempts without answer, the fish asked; “hey, why are you not talking to me?” The little boy answered, “because you bit my finger yesterday.”

After a moment, the fish said “okay, I’m sorry, can we be friends now”?

The little boy nodded in agreement. I am Joe, what is your name? “Red snapper”, answered the little fish.

So, every morning the little boy will take his net and run to the stream to play with his new found friend, the red snapper.

However, one day they decided to go play by the sand. As they were playing, the red snapper became weak as the sun began to shine and could no longer move. The little boy picked the red snapper and took it back to the stream.

The following morning when Joe went back to meet his friend, red snapper said we can’t be friends because I can’t survive where you live and you can’t also survive where I live.

The boy was sad and never returned to fishing till the holidays were over. When his parents asked him, Joe said because he just lost a valuable friend because of class difference.


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