Genetic modification kills sex drive in trout

British fishermen are jubilant: The altered fish are easier to catch.

Andrew Leonard
May 7, 2008 11:20PM (UTC)

In an effort to prevent farm-raised trout from interbreeding with native trout populations in Great Britain, scientists genetically modifed the farmed fish with an extra set of chromosomes, reports the London Times.

The so-called triploid trout are rendered infertile, thus protecting the native population from genetic contamination. Turns out, there's a bonus for Britain's 2 million recreational anglers: The modified trout are easier to catch.


Why? One theory is that having lost the will to reproduce, all they want to do is eat.

...Fish with normal genes stopped feeding when they were ready to spawn.

The genetically modified fish, by contrast, had no interest in sex and just kept eating.

The Times presents this as great news for weekend trout anglers, but How the World Works is bemused. Where's the sport in hooking fish who have lost their lust for, well, lust, and are trying to blur the consequent anomie by eating themselves into a coma?

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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