Much ado about fish

As a child, i remember one fateful day. Mother had the previous night been frying some fish which was to be used for stew the next day.  I remember the aroma as in invaded my nostrils and in a zombie-like fashion, i strolled out of the room towards the kitchen and attempted to grab a piece. Only a stinging slap to the back propelled me back to reality. Mama saved me or rather, she saved her fish.

Fast forward to the next day after school, the maid had gone to play downstairs as usual and i strolled into the kitchen. The ‘spirit’ possessed me again and I only regained control over my body after a large piece of fish had been devoured. I swear i was ‘shocked’. Anyway, mother returns and found out that a piece of fish was missing. The woman; I don’t know whether she counted the fish or maybe by chance, i had taken the largest piece which was of course reserved for ‘daddy’. I was accused of stealing fish and given the beating of my life. I told them i didn’t steal it and only ‘took’ it but all my pleas fell on deaf ears. I knew they weren’t joking when they brought out a used tyre, and petrol and were about to set me ablaze… Anyway, i’m alive today. That story is for another day. All i know is that fish is very powerful.

This post is not intended to be funny so please don’t laugh. I am serious to the letter! Read the following with rapt attention.

It’s been a while I shared wisdom up in here. I’ve been telling cool stories for the last couple of posts so it’s time to get serious. All play and no work makes Jack a dullard. Today, i proffer to you a solution to one of Nigeria’s and in fact black Africa’s major problems. That problem is not food ala fish smart ass! It’s….  power.

I bring to you a sustainable, natural, cheap and renewable power source.  The electric fish.

Did you know that an electric eel can produce very strong electricity to shock/stun or even kill large animals? In fact, it has been reported that in strongly electric fishes, such as the electric eel, electric catfish, and electric rays, the electric organ is huge containing numerous charge producing cells called electrocytes . So numerous that their discharge voltage can reach as high as 600 volts! Under the right conditions, A 30volt charge is enough to kill one fully grown man.

Now according to Wikipedia, there are three hundred and forty eight (348) species of electric fish. Not all of these fish can generate electricity; some which can only detect electric fields are also referred to as being electric. Most of the world’s electric fish live in the tropical rivers of Africa and South America and only a fraction live in the ocean. This is captured effectively by Moller in the figure below:

Distribution of electric fish by habitat

Take a critical look at the picture above. Notice that the strongly electric intermittent fish are found mostly around West Africa and the Northern axis of South America. Zooming further in, the zone where you have the “Malapterus” species happens to include parts of north western Nigeria. Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara and Niger states can make themselves useful instead of being complete weists. Now take a moment to ponder this. Let’s pick a state, say Lagos. The governor can just decide to evacuate an entire suburb of Lagos. He can take the Ogba/Iju axis all the way to Akute and evacuate the people there to Ogun state or something. Ogun state needs more people. You can then convert the whole area into some sort of industrial fish farm. Imagine a  large lake filled with ‘Malapteruruses’ and ‘Torpedoes’ and ‘Astroscopuses’ and ‘Electrophoruses’, the latter three imported from the ocean and South America swimming in separate or similar little tanks or ponds and their electricity harvested for general consumption. Add that to the Hydro electricity generated by the turbines in Kainji and the numerous power generating gas plants and we have another viable option here. We could even sell the electricity in cute little car battery sized aquaria with a few of these fishes in them and have them in every home.

I'd have two of these...

Good thing is that they’ll also have aesthetic value. So that’ll be like killing two birds with one stone. Plus guess what people? The Malapterurus happens to be our very own delicacy in these parts, the catfish. You see now eh? Whenever your electric catfish or whatever type of fish you have in your little power aquarium gets old, so old that they cannot generate enough power again, you can just get them replaced and convert them to more familiar uses.

Peppersoup.

I know this is the one y'all will know!

Wetin?

Even Jesus said man shall not live by bread alone. A few years later, he fed a multitude of 5000 Jews with bread and you already know… FISH.

Okay seriously now, think about it. Imagine if we had fish powered cars, motorcycles, cookers, blenders etc. I read somewhere that the high-performance Tesla Roadster electric-powered vehicle is run on a 375 volt AC induction air-cooled electric motor. A single Electrophorus electricus also known as the electric eel can produce a 600 volt charge! The possibilities are endless. Further studies on how these fish cells produce the electricity can be done and replicated in artificial power-generating fish cells which can then be used in medical implants such as pacemakers and artificial organs.

Don’t be ‘shocked’ I did this. This idea was birthed after consuming copious amounts of agbalumo flavoured vodka which in itself was developed by dedicated Sushey scientists working hard in our Sushey labs. Thank me later.

Everyone needs to learn the stuff i teach.

Immortally yours

Larry Sushey.