Matthew Steeples asks: “Could the return of the ‘great lost’ burbot solve Boris Johnson from the impending fisheries negotiations crisis?”
You’ve probably never heard of the burbot (also known as the eelpout and the lingcod). You’ve sadly likely heard of Boris Johnson. Both are known for their “unprepossessing appearances” and now the former could be the unlikely saviour of the latter if his attempts to negotiate with the EU over fisheries policies fails.
This morning, the Guardian reported news that the burbot – the only freshwater species of cod and a fish last sighted in British rivers in 1969 – is set to be reintroduced.
Jonah Tosney of the Norfolk Rivers Trust told the paper: “The chance to bring back burbot to our rivers is hugely exciting… Recent work to improve water quality and to restore habitat has brought our rivers back to a good enough state to support England’s great lost fish.”
Burbot, it transpires, are certainly aggressive “voracious predators.” They “eat pretty much everything” and are especially partial to pike, perch and trout. Marine biologist Steve Simpson told the BBC: “There are reports of them eating birds, eating snakes, eating frogs – they really will eat anything they encounter.”
Like Boris Johnson (father to “five maybe six children with another on the way”), they are bizarre breeders and require “frigid temperatures under ice” for such activity. The largest ever caught, at 25lb 2oz, was also of BoJo proporitons size wise.
With a taste similar to American lobster, the fish is often nicknamed the “poor man’s lobster” and no doubt when Britain’s fishing industry ends up in disarray after ‘Bosie The Clown’ fails to secure a good deal, it’ll be Boris who’ll be lauding burbot as the new fish of choice for our nation’s tables.