The Rooster Fish and Lemon Shark from The Shoaling were featured in the Undercurrents exhibit at the Samuel Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz. The exhibit ran from June 10 to July 30, 2017. For more information, click here to visit the museum’s website.
Ernie the Exotic: the ROOSTER FISH. This fish has become a very popular, sought-after game fish because of its cunning persona and fighting spirit. Mexico and Central America abound with this species. Catch, release is the order of the day since this fish is not a desirable eating fish. To me the fish is quite beautiful and exotic with the rooster comb dorsal fin, and that’s where Ernie beat me a few times. It took me more than a few attempts at cutting and grinding Ernie’s seven-point dorsal fin out of one piece of steel. (48” W x 27″ H – 12 lbs.)
Lola: the LEMON SHARK. A very different kind of shark and surprisingly yellow in color. Different in the sense that they are social and non-threatening with poor eyesight. East and West Coast lemon shark numbers are declining from over-fishing. They are sold for their meat and fins for soup. They eat different fishes but also crustaceans and mollusks. During the day they rest on the seabed waiting for the wrasses to clean them of parasites. Laconic not really, I see her as an intensely focused shark and adaptive to the many man-made predations. (88” W x 40″ H – 32 lbs.)
Wounded her beauty still stirs our passionate spirits
Always taking our romantic dreams further south
Daily tides bring the salt line north with depleted species to spawn
Her dependent estuaries battle sewage degradation and industrial crimes
Her fisherman and fish gone their boats shoreline skeletons
Manmade sins and permitted mistakes are being dredged or ignored
Oil tankers standing shadow less in minus tides threaten her
We cannot consume from her nor can she quench our thirst
Yet countless souls from her past and present lovers shanty her Majesty
The Riverkeeper and Clearwater mercifully ever watchful sail on.