Vagaries of Truth
I had chosen what to write about today because of an incident that happened earlier today. Yesterday evening, I had accompanied a man to acquire brood stocks of Clarias garipienus (African Catfish) in a ‘reputable farm’ I have had to buy brood stocks before, but never have I gotten from the farm in question. We had to hire a cab to take us to and fro, and on getting there, it didn’t take long before the owner of the farm drove in. He greeted us since we had already informed him of our arrival.
The standard the farm portrayed to me upon arrival had given me the impression that we will not be disappointed after all. You see, I had initially thought that we’d be disappointed if we patronised them because I had heard one of my predecessors in school talk about how their Field Practical Training at the same farm had been like, especially when they tried artificial breeding of catfish in the farm. I remembered my predecessor saying they opened about 5 male brooder and found no sperm sac in them. And that is an essential component used in carrying out artificial insemination.
As the owner of the farm approached us with warmness as most sellers do their customers, especially when there is a need to make a good impression. I had sensed he was a businessman from the discussion he had with the man I was with. They became fast ‘friends’ or so it would seem. We proceeded to the tanks which we were to make our selection from. We started with the female brooders and after about 6 fishes were harvested out of the tank, I personally decided to check for the viability of the eggs myself.
I am not exactly an expert in Aquaculture and Fisheries Management, but I know a thing or two about it, as it is my field of study. And just as animals on heat are naturally restless and volatile, gravid female catfishes tend to be volatile. There are also several other things you consider before choosing a female brooder: a distended abdomen and reddish genital opening. While you needn’t turn to fish over to see its distended abdomen, you have to turn it over to see the genital opening, and also check if the eggs it’s carrying are viable.
Looking and the bowl with the fishes they had harvested from the tank and with disappointment in my heart, I could barely see two out of the six that were harvested. So I decided to check the one I could see was with a distended abdomen. Fortunately, the eggs were viable, but I thought about how easily I had turned the fish over to check for its eggs. That worried me, but as I was about letting it go, it struggled, so I picked that one as it seemed to tick all the boxes for me. More female brooders had to be harvested because we were to buy about 3 female brooders and two male brooders. Then we finally had our three female brooders.
Just when I thought there couldn’t be any more disappointment for me, I didn’t know they had a greater one in store for me until I saw the male brooders they had, boy oh boy! I wanted to actually ask if they were really being cultured for breeding purposes or for consumption. They looked sickly for brooders, and quite small in size, compared to the female brooders. I chose the best two from the catch and asked them to send the others back into the tanks.
Because of the good rapport the owner of the farm and the man I was with had, he (the owner) had given a 33% discount because he liked the man. That was a red flag for me. This man had given the impression of a businessman. Businessmen don’t just give discounts based on a good rapport with someone you’re meeting for the first time. I was thinking about it as we drove off in the car. The man I was with along with the driver of the cab we hired said that the owner of the farm was nice and friendly. I didn’t buy that. Perhaps it’s my untrusting nature, or the fact that I am quite meticulous and tend not to trust people so easily.
We got to our destination and kept the male and female brooders in different tanks over night, and this morning, we found one of the male brooders half dead and two of the female brooders in a bad state. I thought: could this be why the owner of the farm had given such high discounts for the fishes? Did he know they weren’t the healthiest or he foresaw something going wrong? Or was it just an act of sheer kindness, and he honestly didn’t know such fate would befall the fishes?
These are the questions that ran through my head as I was staring at the fishes earlier today. Truth can be an illusion, I stood and thought about how we could believe in something so strongly because of a perception we have of a person or experience, and our belief is totally wrong and not even close to the real truth – like there is a fake truth.
Thank You For Reading 🖤🖤
Your assumptions might be right seriously... the red flags were way too visible. My own perspective, as much as I don't just want to judge, he did not do well at all and he is a dishonest trader